7 Simple Ways Children Everywhere Can Enjoy the Festival of Holi

7 Simple Ways Children Everywhere Can Enjoy the Festival of Holi

 

Holi, the festival of colors will be here soon and like most of us for me preservation of our culture is imperative. Staying miles away from homeland can be sometime challenging, but It is utmost important for me to pass on our cultural values to my children. While we can’t do much about it, We can try to feel festive by doing following activities with our children .

What Is Holi?

Holi is a celebration of good over evil. Holi signals the retreating of winter and the ushering in
of Spring. With it comes the vibrancy of Spring and all of its alluring colors. Hence Holi is also known as the Festival of Colors.

Read about all the powerful and amazing LIFE LESSONS children learn by celebrating this colorful festival.

Activities To Do With Children During Holi:

Looking to celebrate Holi this year with children? Here are seven interesting activities to do with children on the occasion of Holi.

1.) Holi Powder:

Use Holi powder to introduce early-learners to colors and textures. Every color has a particular
meaning in Indian culture. This is the colorful powder that makes this celebration so exuberant and fun.

Set some rules about not targeting anyone’s face, only the arms. Also make sure to get Holi powder that is anti-allergic, skin friendly, washable, and non-toxic. You can get Holi Powder from Amazon or local Indian Grocery Stores.

2.) Water Balloons, Water Guns:

Every child loves water play. Get them some water guns to play with Holi colors onto each other.
And they are great accompaniments to a Holi celebration.

3.) Books To Read On Holi:

Multicultural books are great ways to teach children about the festivals. So read a book on Holi with them.

I highly recommend “Let’s Celebrate Holi “ by Ajanta chakraborty and Vivek Kumar.
With beautiful illustrations, the book walk you through how Holi is celebrated with family, friends, and neighbors!

We also loved reading ‘Celebrate Holi With Me!’ (From The Toddler Diaries) by Shoumi Sen.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1541027833/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_r-.HCbY009065

 


4.)Enjoy Some Holi Crafts With Kids:

We have planned a week long Holi celebration in our family. So we definitely look for crafts and games to play with kids. These activities are great for reinforcing the words used in the celebration in a fun and engaging way .Like my children learned about Pichkari, Gulaal and Holika by doing these fun activities.

You can follow our PINTEREST World Celebrations board here for MORE ideas – https://www.pinterest.com/raisingworldchildren/world-celebrations/

I find the Holi Celebration Activity Kit by Culture Groove very useful as they have included Holi Crafts. Songs and dances , puzzles, Holi words games and Holi flashcards in it. You can get a FREE and downloadable Holi celebration activity kit here culturegroove.com/Holi.

(My Children had so much fun crafting Pichkaris)


5.) Make Some Amazing Foods:

No Indian Festival is complete without mouthwatering foods. So make some popular Holi dishes like Gujjiyas and Thandi ( the Indian milkshakes) with your children. You can find a kids friendly recipe of Thandai in the Culture Groove Holi Activity Kit. And also find a easy Gujjiya recip here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_s0597AYYg

6.) Holi Music And Songs For Kids:

Our family loves music. Holi music has a way of transporting you to India and enhancing your celebration. Children learn about the festival very quickly through these fun songs and dances. Here are some of our favorite song videos that we enjoy the most.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp8p3wYzhTo&t=66s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2JZG5AW3hU
https://youtu.be/OOBW5gXzKXE

7.) Celebrate Holi with family and friends:

Enjoy the beautiful festival with family and friends by visiting nearby Hindu Temple or Cultural Centers. Check their websites or Facebook pages as most of these organizations host various Holi Events. Or you can host a Holi Party at your place to celebrate this colorful festival. Don’t forget to dance to the best Holi songs from Indian movies.

Don’t forget your camera or phone to capture all the Holi fun. And be ready to cheer everyone by” Holi Hai”!!

If you are wondering how to celebrate Holi, here is a guide for really simple ways children eveywhere can celebrate Holi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nupur Biswal : A mom, wife, STEM Educator, children book reviewer ,blogger she loves to balance every role. With a educational background of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering and 10 years of working experiences as a software professional, she is passionate about teaching children coding and also share her love for STEM education with others. She organizes STEM activities in her local library during holidays and also conduct STEM clubs as a part of her daughter’s after school activities. You can follow her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nupurbiswal/ and her personal blogging page on Facebook “ Love My Game” https://www.facebook.com/Lovemygam/ where she regularly shares STEM activities and children book reviews with other parents and teachers
Kids' Mundan in USA Vs India: Simplifying the Tradition of Tonsuring

Kids’ Mundan in USA Vs India: Simplifying the Tradition of Tonsuring

“Oh! Your kids are going to be born with lots of hair.”, said anyone to whom I cribbed about the acidity I experienced while pregnant. “I would rather have them come out bald.”, I would remark.

And sure as sunshine, they both were born with a full head of baby soft, fine hair. As they grew, their hair got super curly and thick and I started dreading the Mundan ceremony.

The process where you shave off all the baby’s hair at 7,9,11 months or 1 year or 3 years.  They say it ensures thicker, fuller hair coming but has a lot of basis in traditional medicine too. What is ideally supposed to happen is that you take the baby to your native temple, the priest performs the ceremony, your family is of course there, you shave the baby’s head, wash it, apply haldi to it and then the hair is submerged in the water body near said temple.

Tonsure In USA

With my son, I was a new mom. So, going to India for the traditional Mundan ceremony was out of the question for me. So, on my mother in law’s suggestion, we kept it simple. When she visited a year later, we took him to a local barber shop, got all his hair trimmed off and then she took the hair with her to India. We prayed at home and wished him well. It was easy, no fuss.

Mundan in India

With my daughter though, it was hell on earth. The Indian barber came home, and seeing his scary razor I asked for him to use a trimmer. His trimmer was so much more worse. My daughter hated being made to sit still at 7 months. She cried and screamed as his horrid trimmer buzzed loud in her ears and then her hair was cut uneven because of course the trimmer wasn’t sharp. The whole family was crying with my little girl as she raised hell. It took a good hour to get it done.

If I could go back in time, I would just make sure to take her to a professional salon vs someone another suggests.

With all my experience in the past years, I’ve seen that kids, my kids have always had a better experience doing traditional things where I have known where to go through personal research.

I do not say, do not go the traditional route. I would however encourage you to keep things simple. Trim off the hair when and where the kids are most comfortable, at an older age and make sure to do the rest with a complete heart, having faith in the fact that no matter how you do something, the intention of giving your child the complete experience will stay true.

Have you had a Mundan or Tonsure done for your kids? Is this something you would consider doing? Have you had the traditional ear piecing ceremony done for your kids?

Broaden Your Parenting Horizons

Dussehra

Major festivals Celebrated in Andhra Culture

Festivals are one way to understand any culture, right? The way we celebrate, the food that we prepare, the traditions that we follow etc., say a lot about our culture. We, Indians have many festivals to celebrate and this post is about the festivals celebrated in the Southern part of India in Andhra Pradesh state.

Sankranthi

The First Important festival celebrated by Hindus is the Makara Sankranthi. This is also called the Harvest festival. “Sankranthi” in the Sanskrit language means the transmigration of the Sun to another zodiac sign.

I love making rangolis with colors for this festival. I also love the traditional food that we prepare for this festival like chakralu (crispy fritters), arisalu (Sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) and laddus.

Explaining Sankranthi to Kids

Sankranthi Rangoli - Muggulu

Sankranthi Rangoli – Muggulu

Ugadi

The Next important festival for us is Ugadi.  Ugadi is usually celebrated in March and it is considered to be Telugu New year.

We prepare a special dish called ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ on that day, which has 6 different flavors/ tastes. This is to remember that life is full of ups, downs, bitterness, happiness and a mixed bag of feelings.

Ugadi Pachadi made with the following flavors is my favorite.

salt (salty-ness), jaggery (sweet), neem flowers (bitterness), tamarind/ mango (sourness), banana (tardy ness) and green chilies (spice).

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi

We also prepare Pulihora (Rice item spiced with tempering) and Mango dal on that day.

We follow a tradition of listening to “Panchaga sravanam” which is a future prediction told by pandits reading the panchangam (predictions written for different zodiac signs).

Sreerama Navami

Sreerama Navami is celebrated on the 9th day after the beginning of the new year.  We pray Lord Rama on this day.

We prepare Panakam (a drink made with water, pepper , nd jaggery) which is good to beat the summer heat.

In Bhadrachalam, Seetha rama kalyanam (A marriage of God Rama and Goddess Sita) is celebrated on that day and many devotees attend the event.

Read more about the festival here.

Sita rama kalyanam

srirama navami

Varalakshmi Vratham

We celebrate Varalakshmi vratham/ Pooja in August. Married women usually do pooja and fast the whole day.  Like many other festivals, we prepare a lot of dishes to offer God and later we feast. Some famous items are Garelu, Boorelu, Payasam, and pulihora.

Read more about the festival here.

Vinayaka Chavithi

Vinayaka Chavithi is another major festival where the whole family participates together. Vinayaka Chavithi is a festival celebrated to pray Lord Ganesha who is worshipped to ensure new beginnings and avoid all hurdles in the path of success.

We usually buy a clay idol of Lord Ganesha, hang all types of fruits above the God on a wooden structure called palavelli and perform pooja. We also prepare many tasty dishes like talukalu (made with rice flour and jaggery and milk), pulihora, chalividi (sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) etc.,

Read more about the festival here.

Dasara

Dasara is a festival celebrated around September where we pray Goddess Durga for 9 days. Women also chant “Lalitha sahasranamam” (religious chant) every evening on those 9 days.  We set idols in a step pattern for display and we call this “Bommala Koluvu”.

Read more about the festival here.

Dussehra

Dussehra

Deepavali

The last and the most exciting festival of the year is Deepavali. Deepavali means an array of lights.

This festival is celebrated to signify the win of Good over evil.  We prepare rangolis with flowers, light lamps and illuminate our houses with lights.

We pray Goddess Lakshmi on that day for wealth and prosperity.  We also prepare a lot of yummy sweets like Kaju barfi and gulab jamun.

We burst firecrackers too. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. 🙂

Deepavali Fire crackers

Deepavali Fire crackers

Read more about the festival here.

We also celebrate festivals like Maha Siva ratri, Nagula chanviti, and Atlathaddi.

So, that’s about some of the major festivals celebrated by Telugu people. People from Andhra Pradesh talk the Telugu language. Share all the festivals you celebrate in the comments below.

 

 

 

Ugadi - A Festival Marking a New Year This Spring Season

Ugadi – A Festival Marking a New Year This Spring Season

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivals. Ugadi is celebrated by people of Andhra Pradesh to signify the Telugu New year. Universally, we follow English Gregorian Calendar. But as per Hindu Lunar calendar, “Ugadi” marks the first day of the year from the month Chaithra. “Ugadi” means “Begining of a new period”. This day also signifies the beginning of the Spring season.

While the people of Andhra celebrate the new year as ‘Ugadi’, People from other states like Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra celebrate this festival with different names and different traditions.

Happy Ugadi

Like most of the festivals, we wake up early on that day, take hair wash and bath, wear new dresses and perform pooja to God. We prepare Ugadi Pachadi and we eat with a hope for a new year which is a combination of different emotions (happiness, sorrow, challenges, and surprises).

Some traditions that Telugu people follow on Ugadi:

Ugadi Pachadi:

Our life is a combination of happiness, sorrow, and many other emotions. So, we have a tradition to recognize and remember this fact about life. We prepare a dish mixed with 6 different ingredients with 6 different tastes and eat it on that day.

Each taste signifies a specific emotion.

Jaggery (Sweet) – Happiness
Neem flowers (bitter) – Sorrow
Mango (tangy) – Surprises and new challenges
Tamarind (Sour) – Challenges
Salt (salty) – interest in life
Green chilies (Spicy) – Anger

Ugadi Pachadi

Panchanga Sravanam:

Usually, people gather at temples or at any public places to listen to an Astrologer’s predictions about the state of life in the new year, social and economic situation of the country, well being of the place etc., The knowledgeable Astrologers predict the turn of events in future as per the movement of celestial bodies in the space. Nowadays, we listen to these predictions on TV of-course 🙂

Delicacies:

We prepare a lot of tasty dishes on that day and have a feast with friends and family. Pulihora (Lemon rice), Mango chutney, bobbatlu (A sweet flatbread) and Boorelu (Rice flour balls stuffed with jaggery and dal) are worth a mention.

Ugadi

Bobbatlu

After all, Every festival is a way to get together with family and friends and spend some good time. Also, these festivals are to understand the significance of old traditions and pass them on to our next generations. Won’t you agree?

Boorelu

Have a Happy Ugadi to you all 🙂

  Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.

 

Powerful Life Lessons Celebrating Holi Teaches Every Kid

Powerful Life Lessons Holi Celebrations Teach Every Child

This festival of colors brings a tinge of happiness when people think the celebration of Holi. We often forget the many life lessons the Holi celebrations teach our children.

Growing up I played Holi a handful of times. Once when I was ten and we threw balloons and glasses full of water on passers by from the terrace of a cousin’s home. Once in Bhopal at age 11, when my cousin applied so much silver paint on me that it took my mom 2+ hours of rubbing before all the colors came off!

Then twice during college when my friends and I threw colors and eggs on each other. And I pretended to get drunk on Bhang Lassi and scared the living daylights out of my friends who had never seen a person high!

You find that people either love this festival or hate it, depending on how their childhood memories are with the celebration. If they were roughhoused with, they usually prefer to not play growing up either. Owing to my life as an immigrant I didn’t have many opportunities to be scarred!

Significance of Holi in North Indian Culture

Holi in Nothern India is celebrated to mark the advent  of spring with the flowers beginning to bloom. The many colors in the air reflect the bloom around you.

The meaning of Holi has it’s origins in two stories. And both carry a lot of meaning for most Hindu families, specially to strengthen the bond between couples. One is of the love of Radhna Krishna, whose love is eternal and renowned for being full of naughtiness. The other is the story of Prahlad whose demon father time and again forced him to renounce his love for God Vishnu and pray to him as God.

Celebrating Holi in My Home

This festival of love actually became a tradition after marriage as my husband and I religiously celebrate. This is perhaps one of the most no fuss celebrations as all you need is colors.

Kids like all things, added so much more meaning to our celebrations.

I remember vividly the first times my son and daughter applied color to my face. It was a feeling like no other!

 

life lessons holi

Copyright Aditi Wardhan Singh

Since my son turned 2, every year our celebrations have only gotten grander and bigger with more of our friends being included as our family grew from two to four. The festival has only grown in splendor, laughter and grandeur.

I often have a potluck party at my home with my friends and we apply color to each other. If possible, we also serve the special drink called thandai (the non intoxicating version). The kids specially those who are not maybe North Indian get a kick out learning about this festival. Some also get scared but the results are always hilarious!

The night before Holi is Holika Dahan, where we are supposed to light the bon fire. It is hard to do that here in USA but in a few years, I hope to celebrate this aspect with a firepit.

Since the past three years we have been going to the local temple to celebrate with friends as well. We dance on Indian film music and enjoy the revelry. Throwing and applying colors on strangers who, on this day, treat us like their best friends.

 

7 Simple Ways Children Everywhere Can Enjoy the Festival of Holi

Life Lessons Holi Teaches In A Multicultural Environment 

Holi is celebrated around the world, not just on this day but all year round as “Color Run”. There are many reasons this beloved festival has grown on the people of the world. It is wonderful how most festivals provide unique opportunities to teach kids about life. 

It is celebrated today not just by North Indian Hindus but by everyone who enjoys celebrating life in all it’s colorful glory!

[bctt tweet=”Celebrated around the world, Holi is a wonderful festival teaching kids powerful life lessons in today’s multicultural environment. #parenting #indianfestivals ” username=”contactrwc”]


GOODNESS AND FAITH ARE PARAMOUNT

I read the story of Prahlad every year. We watch videos and make sure the kids understand what both of these mean in today’s lives. The story might be mythological but when explained in today’s context, kids learn about how often bad influences affect us and we need to have faith in our own principals to carry us through. Life lessons holi teach us are very profound.

EVERYONE IS EQUAL 

I make sure to explain to my kids that the meaning of Holi is to show that once color is applied everyone is the same. The skin color of all becomes the same and we all are equal in all manners. Once you have children, specially this significance evolves also to one of acceptance and love.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

The Holi festival as I mentioned has evolved. There was a time when people used to get really dirty throwing mud and eggs or worse but with time with repeated dos and don’ts discussed today everyone who celebrates does so in an environmentally healthy way.

This is a great time to teach kids about why using organic colors is important.

BE KIND TO ANIMALS

I tell them how Holi used to be celebrated where many people would hurt animals by applying color to them or throwing them in water. How important it is to not do the same and to always, always think of the consequences of your festivities on animals.

NO MEANS NO

Many people, specially in India, choose to remain locked indoors for everyone knows if you go out you are bound to end up with color on your face or wet clothes!

If someone doesn’t like to celebrate, you should not put color on them. This applies to many other aspects of life where someone might not want to indulge in something they enjoy. An important lesson in today’s world.

STRANGERS AREN’T ALL SCARY

The best part about Holi is this festival is everyone plays it with equal enthusiasm. Even if you go to the a place where it is celebrated not knowing anyone, you are greeted like a friend and get colored just as if people already knew you. Your faith in humanity gets restored with that much positive vibes going around.

It is a wonderful time to step out of your comfort zone. Under the watchful eyes of parents, many kids open up to having fun with people they have just met.

life lessons holi

Copyright Aditi Wardhan Singh

GETTING MESSY IS FUN

My kids usually hate getting their hands dirty. They have gotten so used to using wipes that often things are icky. This day allows kids today, in the spin and span, sanitized environments to let lose and get messy.  It teaches them it is okay to get dirty. This is the only festival where the dirtier you are is reciprocal to the amount of fun you have had. 

After all, life is very messy and it is important to know when to enjoy the it and when to purge the mess!

SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT

There is a great amount of prep that goes into preparing to play Holi. . Wear sunglasses and shut your eyes whenever someone is applying color on you.  Oiling your hair or Wear old full sleeved and full length clothing to give your skin maximum protection from the colors.

Even when indulging in foods and the sweet milk drink, it is important to use moderation in everything you do.

EVERY LOVING RELATIONSHIP HAS ROOM FOR LAUGHTER

In Holi when you play pranks on your loved ones and friends, it is a great way to teach kids how to not take themselves and those they care about seriously. How not to get offended on silly little jokes and that there is always room for naughtiness and laughter in a loving relationship.

Find out ALL about HOW anyone can celebrate this festival easily HERE  – Crafts | Books | Songs | Experiments

Follow our World & Celebrations Board for Craft & Celebration Ideas .


 

What is your Holi celebration like? Do you have a temple near you that celebrates? Are you going to celebrate with your kids this year? Are you going to share the … 

What is the significance of Holi? What do kids learn from celebrating Hoil? What is the Festival of Holi ? Family | Celebration | Indian Festivals