Lakshman Padiyar doesn’t really know when members of the Konkani community, to which he belongs, started celebrating Holi in their own unique way in West Kochi.
He, however, believes it must have been when the first batch of migrants from Goa settled down in the city. For, a 47-year-old born and brought up here, Padiyar’s memory is fresh with the colourful celebrations that were part of his childhood.
So, as the community kept its date with the festival on Sunday, Padiyar stood in the street once again drenched in coloured water.
“Unlike our brethren in North India, we celebrate the festival in our own unique way; maybe I should add, even in a scientific way,” said the accountant.
“Yes, children and elders use many colours through the good part of the day. But in the evening when community members visit homes, a mix of turmeric and lime, which gives the water a reddish colour, is poured over each other’s heads,” said Sarojini, a housewife.
Padiyar said the mixture kept at bay skin infections, common during the summer.
The celebrations go on for 15 days, beginning from the eve of Sivaratri.
After the celebrations, the community members take a dip in the temple pond. They then sit down for a dinner of puri and toor dal.