Published 1 month ago
Of all India’s religious festivals, Holi is the one that manages to captivate the most interest outside the nation. Happy pictures of people plastering each other with gulal and colours, symbolising the victory of good over evil and the conventional beginning of the harvest season, denote an aura of unfettered happiness and freedom.
A wild, vibrant festival of colours, tales, mythologies, traditions, music and dance Or “Holi.” The mention of the word “Holi” brings back the recollections of gujiyas, mathris, ladoos, and gulls. The festival comprises some incredible tradition, mouth-watering food, a Dj party, and bhaang.
Holi festival in India signifies the victory of good over evil. It is known as the “Festival of Colours” and celebrated differently in distinct states of India. Although it is mainly a Hindu festival, it is also famous among non-Hindu cultures as well. It is considered a day of spreading happiness and love. In some parts of India, it is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a generous harvest as Holi indicates the coming of spring after winter.
The festival begins the evening before Holi with Holika Dahan. According to the tales, King Hiranyakashipu, a cruel king of asuras, grew arrogant when he was awarded a wish that no man or animal could destroy him. He asked everybody to admire him as their god but his son, Prahlada, opposed and continued devoted to Vishnu. This enraged the king and he subjected his son to cruel punishments. As a part of his punishments, the king’s sister, Holika conned Prahlada to sit with her on a pyre. Holika was tricky and safeguarded herself with a granted cloak and held Prahlada uncovered to the fire. When the fire blazed, the cloak flew from Holika’s body to surround Prahlada and protected him. Holika burned in the fire symbolizing the demise of evil. On Holika Dahan, people conduct a bonfire and pray for the demolition of their interior evils.
The sacred town of Pushkar has long prevailed as a haven for international and local travellers looking to celebrate Holi Festival, and thousands descend here when an enormous celebration is held in the main square. Chest-thumping Techno music rather than Krishna ‘bhajans’ accompanies the seething gathering of ‘gulal’-smothered participants, many of whose shirts end up strung from overhead wires. It’s a rather unrestrained happening, fuelled by strong ‘bhang lassis’. Puskar addresses the most crowded holiday in the entire nation with both global and local crowds. It's an experience that will make you fall in life with holi.
Lathmar Holi is famous for its unusual manner of celebration which begins 4-5 days before the festivities of other states. The celebration takes place in Nandgaon and Barsana towns of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. The locals of the town have a unique ritual of playing Holi with sticks along with colours. According to the tales, Lord Krishna arrived to visit Radha in Barsana from Nandgaon. Being mischievous, he applied colour on Radha’s face to which the elder females of the village took offence. They drove him out of the town with bamboo sticks. The ritual is existing with the celebration of Lathmar Holi. The festivity lasts for a week in Nandgaon and Barsana to surrender in colours, dances, songs, and lathis. The men reach from Nandgaon to Barsana to annoy the women of Barsana who hurl sticks at them with the music. It is a cheerful act and the men can safeguard themselves with shields.
The next one would be for Phoolon ki Holi at Gulal Kund. It is 46 km away from Rangeeli Mahal where you can observe the Raas-Leela at the time of Holi. The local folk who double up as Krishna and Radha perform the events of Holi for the visitors. Even though Phoolon ki Holi is likewise celebrated in numerous parts of the nation, it is popular in Gulal Kund. According to rumours, Radha and Krishna played their first Holi with flowers. Around 35 km away from Gulal Kund, Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan similarly celebrates Holi with flowers. After the doors of the temple are open, the priests throw flowers at the believers.
The festival of Holi is named Shigmostav in Goa. Celebrations commence with prayers to the town gods and goddesses. It is the biggest festival for Hindus and is spread over a fortnight. The ceremonies are carried in the final five days of the festival. Shigmostav is emphasized with performances of troupes in the structure of parades and cultural theatres. Festivities attain the peak on the fifth day when gulal is used to colour everyone. Maximum of the celebrations are primarily observed in Panjim, Vasco, and Margao. The major Goa Beaches similarly turn colourful on the day of Holi with a massive abundance of locals & tourists gathering on the beaches to play with colours.
Holi at Udaipur, Rajasthan is a royal event and it is celebrated considerably extravagantly. The royal family takes active participation at all the events. You can anticipate a royal captivating experience if you are scheduling to celebrate Holi in Udaipur. The celebration will be for two days beginning from Holika Dahan which is recognized as Mewar Holika Dahan. It is celebrated on the grounds of City Palace. The Mewar King and his family grace the event with their presence. The celebration begins with the king illuminating the Holi pyre. Then, it proceeds with folk dance, “Gair ”, around the bonfire. The king, then, meets the royal dignitaries and VIPs. There is a rally where the royal family members sit on decorated camels, elephants, and horses. The first day of the celebration finishes up with fireworks. On the second day, travellers can celebrate Holi throughout the city.
There is a belief that Holi is not celebrated in the southern states of India. Hampi makes up for it as it is popular for the Holi celebration in Karnataka. There are numerous temples in Hampi where people from around the world come to rejoice in the Holi Festival in India. Situated on the banks of the river Tungabhadra, Hampi is popular for Virupaksha Temple since the 7th century. Here, Holi is celebrated for two days commencing with Holika Dahan and people apply colour to each other and rejoice in this festival. The speciality of the Holi celebration at Hampi is that the people plunge in the river after playing with colours to rinse away all the sin. The primary celebration takes place at Virupaksha Temple.
Anandpur Sahib, Punjab is one of the best locations to celebrate the Holi Festival in India, if you are looking to observe the warrior’s Holi. Holi wins a cheerful term in Punjab and is known as Hola Mohalla. It is celebrated differently by the Sikh community. There is an annual carnival at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab on the day following Holi. The Carnival initiated to strengthen the community by wielding mock battles and military practice. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, commenced the practice. The Carnival goes on for three days where the participants will demonstrate their physical strength. There are lyric and music tournaments at the climax to brighten the mood of the guests. On the last day, there will be a long ceremony from Takth Keshgarh Sahib which will pass through several significant gurudwaras. There will be langars by the local people.
No matter which part of India you travel to celebrate Holi, be it North India and South India, the magic of Holi is the same in India because India is a diverse nation with exuberance at each of its junctions and nooks.