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Holi is the Hindu Festival of Colors.
Held over several days in early March, the festival celebrates the coming of
spring and is known for “merrymaking and mischief.” This year, (2008) Holi
is celebrated around March 22nd. This song is intended simply as an
introduction to the holiday, and not meant to be comprehensive.
Traditionally, on the third day,
friends and neighbors gather together in the streets and colored powders are
thrown in the air and then smeared on faces and bodies. More recently, safer
and more environmentally friendly ways have been found to celebrate. For
this song, children will simply be introduced to the holiday, and celebrate
Read through the suggestions
below, and use which ever ideas seem appropriate for your age group.
Traditions from other cultures offer us a wonderful way to learn about each
other, and in a way that children can appreciate and understand.
To learn more about Holi, and for additional activities, visit the links
Before You Use this Song…
SHOW children on a map or globe, where India is.
easy-nonfiction book from your library on India, and share some of the
pictures and information with the children, depending on their ages.
ASK children if
anyone has a relative who comes from India. You might ask that relative to
come in and share their memories of Holi celebrations.
Ideas for Using this Song
1. Use sign language for the words in
light green, below. Depending on the ages
of your children,
you can use just a few or all of the suggested sign. Sign descriptions can
be found at the bottom of
2. Give children scarves, and have them dance to the song. Talk about
the colors we see in spring
3. After you sing the song a couple of times, have the children make
up a simple dance to do with the
scarves. For example, they might dance in a circle waving the scarves during
the verses, and kneel
down and wave the scarves like rainbows during the chorus.
Children in India,
Celebrating Holi, and the coming of
Families in India gather with their
and the coming
and sweets made for eating
Laughing and welcoming the
Painted in the
colors of the
To see animated versions of these signs. visit the
American Sign Language Browser.
Fist held up making
circles as if holding flags
Downturned hand moves across in front of body as if patting children on
Fingertips of the right
hand palm facing body, are placed against the chin and wiggle back and
Natural sign. hand
Downturned index and middle fingers of right “V” hand swing rhythmically
back and forth over upturned left palm
Closed right hand moves to mouth as if eating, repeat
Use the sign for friends; index finger of left hand over index finger of
right, cross, then reverse
Right hand, palm facing signer, arcs in the air from left to right (as if
tracing the colors in the sky)
Right “5” hand palm facing left, is waved back and forth next to the left
hand, as if conducting
Right hand fingers
pointed up, come up through left fist as if “growing” spread fingers as they