Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.

As we face the bitter cold (but welcome snows), the countdown towards Spring is on!  Officially beginning March 20th this year, we cannot help but smile knowing what will soon be upon us.  Warm breezes, birds chirping, melting snow drips, grass peeking, flowers budding, skies clearing . . . Spring just has a way.

This year let’s challenge ourselves to embrace change.  Set some goals.  And be kinder.  Let nature be our guide in our own refresh and victories.  How are we better?  How can we continue on our path of growth?  How can we share?

To start us off, here is a wonderful tradition Stuti would like to share with us all.  I look forward to spotting shades of yellow (hello daffodils!) and dodging surprise battles with water.

Stuti Ganatra:  When I was younger, the oncoming of spring was always marked by celebrations of Vasant Panchami. Vasant Panchami, which means the fifth day of the Hindu month Vasant, marks the beginning of spring after a long winter. The Goddess of Knowledge is said to have been born on this day, so as students my parents would take us to the temple on this day to worship Her. In many communities, it is also the day people dress up in yellow and step out on their terraces in the bright spring sun and fly kites! Yellow, because the festival represents energy and yellow fields of North India.

Holi, which we all know as the festival of colors is about 40 days after Vasant Panchami. A lot of people don’t know that the night before we celebrate Holi, we light a massive bonfire and worship it to signify the victory of good over evil, which has roots in a mythological story. When I was growing up, I would get together with my cousins, go to the terrace with a bucket of water and we would use our water guns on people passing by on the streets- It is a norm for kids and people join in the celebrations but if there was an old grumpy uncle who looked up angrily, we would yell- “Bura na maano, Holi hai!”(Don’t mind it, it’s Holi!) then race home and hide for a while. It remains my fondest memory of Holi! This year Vasant Panchami was on Feb 5th and Holi falls on March 18th.