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Festivals in Andhra Pradesh

The festival of Holi begins on Duwadashi  on the twelfth day of the waxing moon in the month of Phalgun. Spirits run high as the preparations for the festivities begin, as a custom, mothers make new clothes for their married daughters.

Colored powder (Gulal) is bought and prepared, long syringes called 'pichkaris' are made ready and water balloons are bought and filled. Preparations are made to cook the special food items that are exclusively meant for this festival.

The actual festival of Holi takes place the day after this. This day is called 'Parva'. Children, friends and neighbors gather on the streets and a riot of colour takes over. Coloured powders called 'abeer' or 'gulal' are thrown into the air and smeared on faces and bodies.

'Pichkaris' are filled with coloured water and this is spurted onto people. Water balloons are thrown at friends and neighbors in the spirit of fun. Sometimes, mud baths are prepared and people are 'dunked' into this amidst much laughter and teasing. The visitors carry 'abeer' or 'gulal' to pay their respects to elders by sprinkling some on their feet.

The younger crowd is drenched with buckets of coloured water and pummeled with water balloons. 'Dholaks' or Indian drums are heard everywhere and the songs of Holi are carried by the voices of these merry-makers.

There is no 'puja' or worship associated with this festival of colours. Some 'gulal' or 'abeer' is smeared on the faces of the Gods, especially Krishna and Radha, at the commencement of the festivities.

halgun arrives with the promise of warm days and new life - Spring is the season of rejuvenation and rebirth. The earth discards its winter gloom and begins to blossom again. As if to mark this change, Holi flings color into Indian landscape and invites the celebration of life.

The spirit of Holi is color - rich and vibrant, flung into the air and smeared with laughter on friends and loved ones. It recalls, very simply, the secret of life: a shifting panorama of sights, movement and feelings. Colors denotes energy - the vivid, passionate pulse of life. Color signifies the vitality that makes the human race unique in the universal scheme. Holi, the festival of colour, is also the enactment of spring. It is, in a metaphorical sense, changing earth’s dull garb of winter for the fresh blue of the March skies, the bright colors of new blossoms, the brilliance of the summer sun washing everything with its red-gold hues.

Holi comes alive with the colors of 'gulal'. These are dry colors that are sold days before the festival actually begins. Markets are flooded with heaps of gulal - they are arranged in pyramids and sold loose. Vendors sit on street corners selling gulal to passers-by. Gulal is made up of many rich colors like pink, magenta, red, yellow and green. 'Abeer' is made of small crystals or paper like chips of mica. This is usually mixed with the gulal to give it a rich shine. These colors can be used dry, or mixed with water. New brides make a silver or gold color from powders specially available in the market. This color is mixed with a little coconut oil and stored in a bottle. It is applied in tiny quantities on the foreheads of near and dear ones, like a 'tilak' or a blaze-like mark.

On the day of Holi, mothers send their children out on the streets to indulge in all the drenching and smearing of colour. Many like to wear white sarees or salwar kameez, and the men often wear white pajamas and kurtas and these act as wonderful contrasts to the bright colors everywhere.
vinayaka chavithi
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Vara lakshmi Vratam
Maha Sivarathri
Deccan Festival
Sri Rama Navami
Krishna Ashtami
Naga Panchami