The Origin & Significance of Holi
Holi, celebrated amongst Hindus around the world, is a festival of colours and a symbol of love, compassion, fun & frolic. The origin of Holi dates back to thousands of years. According to the legend, the demon god conspired against his son Prahlada by ordering his sister Holika to sit in the pyre with him. The fire consumed Holika leaving Prahlada unharmed, signifying the victory of good over evil.
Since then, this festival is widely celebrated with prayers, singing, dancing, putting colours on one another, exchanging delicacies and drinking Bhang. Needless to say, Holi unites people with its unique rituals and brings about a spirit of joy & harmony around.
The Various Shades of Holi in India
A Holi like no other - Braj ki Holi is unique, as it is believed to have started during the times of Lord Krishna & Radha. Holi rituals in Barsana, Mathura, Nandgaon & Vrindavan are of special note. Out of these regions, Barsana Ki Holi is most noteworthy, it is called Lathmaar Holi, which is played between men of Nandgaon and women of Barsana, where the women playfully beat the men with lath (wooden stick) and throw colours. Thandai, Gujiya, Lauki Barfi & sweet rice are the main delicacies prepared for the Holi feast.
Holi, celebrated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand marks the end of winter season and the start of the sowing season; filling the air with music, laughter and colours. Kumaonis celebrate this festival by dancing and singing to the tunes of their folk songs, playing musical instruments and moving around in Tolis across the streets, walking by each of the houses and literally standing, thus getting its name - Khadi Holi.
A perfect blend of music & colours – the festival of Holi is known as Dol Yatra or Dol Purnima in the state of Bengal. Students wear saffron coloured clothes and garlands of colourful flowers. They sing & dance in a procession which carries idols of Radha & Krishna placed on a palanquin, while spraying coloured water and abeer (coloured powder) on each other. It is a site to cherish and remember for the rest of your life.
Punjabis celebrate Holi in Anandpur Sahib region, famously known as Hola Mohalla. Instead of colours, Hola Mohalla is witnessed by the display of agility, power and bravery. Punjabi Warriors indulge in mock battles with each other, listen to music & poetry accompanied with drums and sit together to eat Langar, which is an integral part of Gurudwara. This event is concluded by a procession within the state.
India is diverse and so are its festivals. Holi takes a completely different form in the north-eastern state of Manipur, where it is known as Yaosang. It is celebrated for five days & commences from the full moon day of Phalguna month. The major attraction of the festival is Thabal Chongba folk dance in which boys & girls form a circle to sing and dance. To celebrate the festival, every family contributes for the fund, thus creating an amazing opportunity for bonding and merry making.
Rajasthanis have a unique style of celebrating Holi. The aura around this festival is quite in sync with the charm and vibrancy of the state, adding to the overall grandeur. The palaces of Udaipur, Pushkar and other regions are decorated spectacularly. Members of the Royal families welcome the common crowd with much love and affection. The warriors show their equestrian skills by carrying out a procession around the Holika pyre and putting colours on each other. Rightly known as Royal Holi, opulence blends with colours to create an enchanting vibe.
In Kerala, Holi is known by the name of Manjal Kuli and is celebrated in Gosripuram Thirumala Konkani Temple. The Kudumbi community (which migrated to Kerala from Goa) celebrates the festival by cutting an Areca nut tree and then transporting it to the shrine indicating goddess Durga’s victory over demons. In some shrines a mud crocodile is made to symbolize the goddess who helped them to migrate from Goa to Kerala. On the next day, the entire community plays with water & turmeric powder.
Holi celebrations, in the capital of India, have its own charm around the festival. People celebrate with water colours, dance to the tunes of Bollywood numbers and host feasts. Parties are held in colonies and public places to commemorate this festival. Top Bollywood tracks, consumption of Bhang and delectable delicacies make an amazing setting, wherein people from diverse genres enjoy this festival.
Top Holi Tracks for your Playlist
Rang Barse - Silsila
Holi Khele Raghubeera - Baghban
Holi Ke Din Dil Mil Jate Hai - Sholay
Balam Pichkari - Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Aaj Na Chhodenge - Kati Patang
Do Me A Favour Let's Play Holi - Waqt
Holi 2017 - Celebrating The Spirit of Togetherness With Colors!
Holi, the incredible festival of colors in India is desperately awaited by millions of Indians all across the globe! Amidst synthetic colors, water balloons, fancy pichkaris, gulaal, bhang and much more, Holi is the celebration of liveliness, vibrancy of spring and the victory of good over evil. From teens to adults, people from strata of society come forward to celebrate the essence of togetherness, love and goodness. It is boisterous, maddening and full of fun & frolic occasion.
Sling bags packed with peppy colors, water guns loaded with naughtiness, typical Holi songs, heaps of festive goodies, the pulsating excitements loads everyone with thrill and excitement of the festival. It is celebrated on the full moon day of Phalgun month of Hindu calendar. The 2-day Holi celebration commences with the Holika Dehan Puja that is also known as the Chhoti Holi. On the next day of Rangpanchmi, people play with colors & soak each other with water guns. The savories of Holi such as gujiya, malpua, bhang ki pakori, dal kachori, etc. are a pure delight to gorge on! The high spirits, maddening playfulness’ and of course the bevy of colors along with lip-smacking delicacies makes this festival favorite of one and all!
Whether it is the popular Lathmar Holi of Vrindavan, the Khadi Holi of Kumaon region or the Hola Mohalla in Punjab, Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm & passion across the lengths and breadths of the country. When Holi is round the corner, preparations are in full bloom! Women go on a shopping spree and love to deck themselves in traditional attire accessorizing their look with ethnic jewelry & footwear. Men too go with the flow and get into the festive mode by donning up a traditional look. It is the happiest festival especially for the kids as they get new clothes and delicious recipes.
So, get ready to celebrate this wonderful festival with bright colors of gulal on the rhythm of dholak and scrumptious Holi sweets.