My last day in Glasgow dawned damp and iron grey, but my fellow Trading Tales writer Diana McCaulay and I were undaunted by the promise of rain. We set off for the riverside...
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Festival Of Phagwa
Phagwa or Holi is a spring festival that is often referred to as a festival of colours. It is also sometimes described as a festival for lovers. Legend has it that this is the period when girls are permitted to pursue the young men of the villages. Because it is a spring festival, Phagwa is celebrated at the approaching vernal equinox at the time of the full moon. The date of the festival varies according to the Hindu calendar and generally observed in the month of March, according to the Gregorian calendar.
In India where the festival first developed, Holi is celebrated at the time of year when the fields are in full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. This gives them good reason to rejoice and make merry.
In T&T, Phagwa is being celebrated in 2014 over a period of two weeks in March. The celebrations begin at the level of the Hindu schools in Trinidad, where children compete against each other in the Chowtal Sammelan. This is really a prelude to the general Phagwa, and this year it took place on Saturday March 8, with 48 schools participating in competition. Venue was Lakshmi College auditorium in St Augustine.
The next event in the year’s festival took place on Saturday March 15, at various venues across Trinidad. This event is known as the “Burning of Holika.” Days before, devotees and participants start gathering wood and other combustible materials for a bonfire that will herald the destruction of evil and the establishment of righteous conduct.