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I love writing about holidays, celebrations and live-affirming traditions from around the world. On this blog, I have written extensively about the Russian New Year celebration, March 8 – the International Women’s Day, as well as about various Chinese New Year celebrations and traditions. I have also written about the festivity that was the Sochi Olympics.

Two years ago, when this blog was just starting out, my friend from India, Pranjal Borthakur, and I did a post together. That post immediately became one of the popular posts on my blog. It was about Holi, the famous Hindu festival of colors, as well as about Pranjal’s school. Read the original post (with great pics + history and traditions of Holi): Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, with Guest Pranjal Borthakur.

Today, my guest Pranjal again is graciously sharing some wonderful photos of his home and the beautiful celebration of Holi in the capital of the Indian province of Assam, Guwahati. This time, in addition to Holi, Pranjal, his school and family have also been celebrating the birthday of my favorite Hindu goddess Saraswati, the patron of the arts, knowledge and wisdom.

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Saraswati – goddess of the arts and knowledge

Pranjal is a teacher and school owner. His school is for the children of the poor in the area. He is a very kind soul, who believes in equal educational opportunity for everyone, including the underprivileged. However, in the past two years, he has encountered a lot of resistance from local authorities and a lack of funding. My prayers are with Pranjal and his school. I hope the hard times are over soon, Pranjal. May your school and educational method be a great success, and may all the children of India have equal access to good education. More about Pranjal’s school in my original post.

Pranjal enclosed this note about Saraswati Puja:

“This day is very important for all students and teachers. Saraswati is goddess of knowledge. So on this day every school and college celebrate and pray together. On this day teachers, students and their parents also eat together ‘KICHDI.’ It’s a special dish prepared with pulses, rice and various vegetables mixed together. We have a lot of Christian missionaries in our area. Sister Teresa loves me very much and she knows with what hardship I am running the school. Father Jose is also an excellent person and his blessings are always with me. This year they came to bless my school children and distributed prizes to them, irrespective of my religion as I am a Hindu. Hope I continue to have their blessings always.”
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Holi is the world-renowned Hindu festival of colors. It is usally celebrated in March, when the nature awakens after a long winter. It is the time when colorful and fragrant new blooms, together with the birds, sing praise to life. Originally the paints for Holi were made naturally – from the colorful petals of Hindi flowers. Unfortunately, lately, the paints tend to be chemical. However, the symbolism is still beautiful – the celebration of the awakening of all life. There are some elaborate and joyful rituals that are performed during Holi.

Below: Pranjal, his family and friends are celebrating Holi. The tradition is to color each other’s faces, hair, etc., with various bright paints. ma1 mamu&bro my father Dr. J.N.Borthakur

Garden on the roof of Pranjal’s house – growing colorful flowers of spring

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Pranjal and his adorable animals

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Pranjal’s niece, Mamu, celebrating Holi

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More Holi with family and friends

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Celebrating with music, song and dance

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More of Pranjal’s garden

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More Holi and Saraswati birthday celebration

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I hope you enjoyed our colorful journey to Assam, India.

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Assam is located in the very north-eastern corner of India 

Many thanks to Pranjal Borthakur, his family and friends for sharing their Holi with us!

Follow Pranjal on Twitter @PranjalBorthak1

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