Holi celebrations in India

5 Places to Celebrate Holi in India

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A still from Yeh Jawaani Hain Deewani

Bollywood songs like ‘Holi ke din dil khil jaate hain..’, ‘Holi khele raghuveera awadh mein..’ and ‘Balam pichkari jo tune mujhe maari…’ have captured beautifully the spirit of the colourful festival on big screen. This year, on March 24 people all over India will celebrate Holi, with great excitement and enthusiasm. The celebration comprises applying colours, throwing water balloons, drinking bhang, eating delicious gujiyas and dancing on latest hit bollywood songs. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at 5 Indian places and their unique style of playing with colours:

1. Mathura

Religious Holi of Mathura

In Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, people play Holi for about a week with immense zeal and fervour. On the main festival day, a huge number of devotees can be seen at the Banke-Bihari Temple of Vrindavan, passionately chanting the name of Lord Krishna and Radha, whose divine love is intimately associated with this festival.

2. Bengal

Basant Utsav Holi in Bengal

In Bengal, Holi is celebrated as Basant Utsav or Spring Festival following the traditional way as started by poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan. People of Bengal joyfully welcome Spring, the season of hope not just with colours but with songs, dance and chanting of hymns in the peaceful ambience of Shantiniketan.

3. Barsana

Lath Mar Holi in Barsana

Barsana village is famous as the birthplace of Radha, located 42km away from Mathura. Here, this festival is celebrated with laths (sticks)! On the first day, men from Nandgaon (Krishna’s village) visit Barsana to play Holi with the women of the latter village, who playfully chase them away with their laths. On the second day, the  same ritual is repeated with Barsana men going to Nandgaon.

4. Gujarat

Fun-filled Holi in Gujarat

Gujarat welcomes this festival with the chants of the folk song, “Govinda aala re, aala…zara matki sambhal Brijbala…” The tradition of breaking earthen pots full of buttermilk, tied high on a rope is observed in various places of the state. Hundreds of people participate by forming a human pyramid in order to reach the pot and break it. The one who breaks the pot is crowned as the ‘Holi King’ of the locality for the year.

5. Rajasthan

Cultural Holi in Rajasthan

A bonfire before the night of this festival, marks the beginning of Holi celebration in Rajasthan. On the second day, which is known as Dhulandi, people apply different colours on each other. The festival is also marked by a number of cultural programmes like folk dances performed by women.

So friends, let’s play Holi!