SCFISociety for the Confluence of Festivals in India

Holi Gifts

Holi is the festival of joy & strengthening the bond of love & friendship & getting all smeared with colors on this auspicious Spring day. With the tradition still closely followed & practiced, so has been the gifting custom. The popular tradition however highlights some of these most commonly practiced gifts exchanging methods which have been coming down since generations with a marvelous makeover.

Sweets Exchanging Practice

Sweet exchanging ceremony is considered the oldest tradition, since as per Indian ritual, any festival commencement when sweetened with the rich Indian confectioneries is considered lucky & prosperous. It is a common sight on the festival eve with sweet sellers selling attractive gift packages containing mouth watering delicacies. People make their ways to these tempting sweet shops to purchase variety of sweets which are later gifted to loved ones along with home made delicacies.

Garments for Married Daughters

Gifting new range of garments to married daughters is another common practice seen on the auspicious Holi day, not to forget her entire in-laws side who needs to be equally presented with new set of garments. As there is a tradition of gifting "dandia", a special kind of saree, to both the daughter & her in-laws coupled with the necessary accessories.

A lot of preparation goes into the making of this particular saree form which is essentially a white cotton saree made of voile or 'mulmul'. The beauty of the saree lies in its borders which are dyed with Indian pink, a non-fast color. All four sides of the saree are gathered which are dipped in turn into the Indian Pink, thus allowing the color to catch on the fabric at least two to three inches on each side. Once getting spread in uneven splendor towards the middle of the saree, the ultimate effect is that of a gradual spreading of blush. The saree is decorated with breathtaking designs highlighted with intricate Indian motifs. The border is adorned with gold or silver 'gota' stitched on to the edges of the dandia while the 'pallu' (saree portion meant for head covering) is beautified with a 'kiran' or a fine fringe of gold or silver which adds a shimmering touch. It is an absolute must for a newly wed bride to adorn herself with a "dandia" saree on the Holi day.

Presents for Son-in-Laws

Son-in-laws form an integral part of the family & it is essential to gift the daughter's husband with the best of Holi gifts as followed in some parts of India with full devotion. It is a customary practice to present a 'pyala' (a glass of drink coupled with an amount of money) after the special Holi meal. The daughters are in the meanwhile gifted with 'kothli' or travel money by their mother-in-law, or the eldest lady in the family.

Gifts & Fun

Gifting & enjoying goes hand in hand on this beautiful festival of colors which involves coming together & forgetting all ill feelings to indulge in a day full of psychedelic color experiences. The entire day is observed with gifts & colors, the two in separate elements which keeps the day full with hustle & bustle. These involves the newly wedded bride playing her first Holi at her in-laws place & indulging in naughty pranks. She can play naughty jokes on her in-laws too by taking the help of some family members, & thus, making her first Holi post marriage memorable. Special Holi folk songs are yet another traditional feature of this festival marked with fun & frolic.

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