Sunday, 20 March 2011

Saturday 19th March 2o11

Another weekend come and (half) gone already...I thought time was only meant to fly when you’re having fun?!! Somehow find myself ridiculously busy once more (clearly not busy enough to stay away from my blog though) - 6am start at work this morning, 9 hours later some job-searching, a quick shower and now here I am, baby-sitting my favourite “little” people in the world; cookie-eating Christian (remember him?) and his older sister Katie. Oh, did I forget to mention that it’s a Hindu festival today too..? So yerrr, kind of celebrated that somewhere in between as well.

Though there are numerous myths surrounding Holi, the festival of colour, it is universally celebrated as the victory of good over evil, the most common story being something like this: There was once a vain King called Hiranyakashipu who wanted to be worshipped as God in his kingdom; however his own son Prahlad, blindly devoted to the deity Vishnu, refused. Despite numerous warnings from his father Prahlad continued to offer prayers to Vishnu and eventually Hiranyakashipu, seething with jealousy, ordered for his son to be killed. By some divine miracle it is believed Prahlad escaped death every single time - poison, a herd of elephants and a room full of venomous snakes. Finally the king ordered his (demoness) sister Holika, who had a special gift from the Gods of being immune to fire, to take young Prahlad in her lap and sit on a pyre. As the spectacle unfolded onlookers were in disbelief, witnessing Holika burning to her death whilst the young boy descends from the pyre unscathed, having prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. Far fetched? Yes. But all in good faith, for a good moral? Yes as well.

So how did we celebrate? Just a massive social gathering, “offerings” made to a colossal bonfire, and delicious fire-toasted sweets and snacks (like coconut, popcorn and dates) - great fun. Tell you what I loved the most, I had forgotten how magical bonfires are. The woody smell, tempting warmth, dancing shadows and crackling flames - beautiful evening and all in all not a bad day...time now for bed though, another ludicrously early start in the morning!

(I have point 3 of my 5-point plan tomorrow by the way. Good night.)

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