Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Trini Tuesday-Happy Pagwah!
Today is Phagwah, which is another of the holidays brought to Trinidad by the East Indian indentured servants. It is a Hindu Spring festival that commemorates the faithfulness of the Demon King's son, Pralad. The Demon King had exalted himself and demanded that all worship him. Pralad alone remained devoted to Vishnu. As punishment Pralad was to be executed but miraculously survived all attempts on his life, including sitting amidst a bonfire with his sister Holi who perished. The festival can also be referred to as Holi in her memory.
On the eve of Phagwah there are bonfires and music. The daylight gives way to much merrymaking as young and old alike smear each other with paints and colored powders. Water balloons full of dyed water are also commonly used. The drum and cymbal music continues throughout the day and by the end no one is recognizable through the haze of bright colors.