Holi’s great, isn’t it?
Cast your sins into the fire. Throw colours with random strangers, and random abandon. Laugh freely and joyously. Dance. Laugh again. Try to shake the colour out of your hair and try to beat the colour out of your clothes. Enjoy the sight of elderly grandparents, tiny children and everyone in between – all doing the same thing, all covered in glorious technicolour. Enjoy how surreal it is. Enjoy how magical it feels.
In our case, all in a big shed in Hackney. For all of you who were there, you’ll know how much fun it was. There was no actual bhang in our lassi, but everyone seemed as high as kites. People who had never met before were rubbing powder paint in one another’s faces, dancing and improvising a conga. And in a way, I think this is exactly what we need more of in London.
One thing is for sure; London is growing. Our city is getting busier and more crowded. We Londoners are forever moaning about accelerating property prices, and more flash sports cars seem to be racing pointlessly up and down Knightsbridge. And as the city grows, I’d like to think we can make sure that it’s truly a shared city. That all of us find ways to have fun together, to break down barriers, to leave aside differences and celebrate each others’ culture. Even if it’s only for a few short hours, it’s really important. A city that doesn’t do this becomes a nervous and divided city, full of suspicion; a sad dystopia. Let’s never let that happen to London.
So, in that spirit, we promise to keep throwing our Holi parties, if you’ll all keep coming!
Enjoy our little video of this year’s Holi, see the (massive) photo gallery – tag yourself if you were there. And, most importantly of all, come next year!
As a thirteen year old boy in Delhi with endless energy and appetite, I treasured Sunday mornings. I’d wake up early, jump on my rickety Hero Cycle bicycle and hurriedly pedal five miles to a park close to Shantivan and Raj Ghat. There, me and my friends would set-up makeshift stick stumps and play cricket for hours… or until our minds and bellies turned (inevitably) to food.
The festival of Eid al-Fitr (literally “the Celebration of the Breaking of the Fast”) marks the conclusion of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month where restraint and discipline must be practised.
In India, mealtimes are very much a family affair and everything is shared which makes these cheese-and-pastry twirls perfect for making together this half-term. They’re incredibly easy to make, which make them just right for keeping little hands happily occupied during the holidays.
The culmination of Ramadan will bring with it Chand Raat (the night of the moon), an evening of great excitement and unity. It’s the eventide or moment the first crescent moon of the month is observed, which marks the end of the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, a period of fasting, prayer and reflection, and the start of Eid, the beginning of great festivities.