Festival of Colours, is the first thing which comes to the mind when the word Holi is mentioned. It is the most vibrant festival celebrated with Colours, Music, Sweets and most important Bhang. The festival has its own charm, it brings all people of any caste, region together. It also has a mythological significance -“victory of good over evil”.
The festival is celebrated in most parts of the country. In some places, it is celebrated for two days while others more than 5 days. Here are the details of where and how it is celebrated.
It is the Birthplace of Lord Krishna. Here, Holi is celebrated for 16 days beginning from Holashtak. It refers to the eight-day period just before the celebration of Holi.
Day 1 – Played with Ladoo. Everybody throws ladoo at each other.
Day 2 – Played with Flowers
Day 3 – Played with Abeer or Gulal (dry colour, no water used)
Day 4 – Played with Bhog (dry food items like misri, mewa etc)
Day 5 – Lathmaar. In this unique way, women beat up men with sticks, and men try to protect themselves with a shield.
Day 6 – Matki Phod – It is similar to Janmashtmi, where, an earthen pot is filled with colour, gulal, abeer is hung high up the rope. Group of men climb on each other and make a pyramid to reach and break it.
Day 7 – Holika Dahan – The pyre (of wood and combustible) is lit as a bonfire. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Day 8 – Dhulandi – Played with colours, water.
Day 9 – From this day onwards till Rangpanchami it is played with Colours
Holi is played in a unique way. Men are welcomed with sticks instead of colours by women, hence the name Lathmar Holi. It is played in Radha Rani temple.
The festival is celebrated in a very passionate way. It is a state where different tribes are present who make the celebration very attractive and vibrant. The festival is celebrated in three different ways.
Khadi Holi – Is celebrated in rural parts of the states where people sing and dance to the tunes of dhol and hurkas wearing white clothes.
Bhaithki Holi – People sing songs with a touch of melody, fun, spirituality. The songs are based on classical ragas which are based on the different times of the day, during the daytime different ragas are sung compared to that in the evening.
Mahila Holi – As the name suggests, this type of Holi is celebrated by females showing love for their family and friends. Holi Dahan is called Cheer Bandan here and is celebrated 15 days prior to Dhulandi.
The festival is known as Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima or Swing Festival. Idols of Radha-Krishna are decorated and taken around the streets. The devotees take turns to swing them. Women dance around the swings, while, men throw abeer, Gulal, coloured water at them. Traditional dishes like malpoa, kheer Sandesh, payash, saffron milk are made and offered to the visitors.
The festival is celebrated similar to West Bengal as Dol Purnima. Here, an idol of Lord Jagannath is decorated and taken around the streets instead of Radha Krishna. During the procession, women dance to the tunes while men throw Abeer and coloured water at them. At night, a special tent called “jhoolan mandap” is created to place the idol. Delicacies like pethas, ladoo made of puffed rice and sesame seed are relished post the bhog.
The festival is celebrated at a very large scale. A special delicacy of Puranpoli (sweet) is made on this day.
On this day, a bonfire with an effigy of Ogress Holika is burnt signifying the victory of good over evil. Men also make peculiar sound by striking their mouths with the back of their hands.
While playing with colours is reserved for Rangpanchmi, which comes after five days of Phalgun Poornima. On this day people are supposed to forget and forgive any rivalry and start everything fresh.
Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Holi is celebrated majorly on two days.
Day 1 – Holika Dahan where a pyre of wood is lit.
Day 2 – Rang Panchami. It falls on the 5th day from Holi Dahan. On this day colours are used for playing Holi. Although one may experience water and colour sprinkles on other days as well.
Holi is known by three different names Kamavilas, Kaman Pandigai, and Kama Dahamam. There are multiple mythological stories of Shiva, Kamdev, and his wife Rati, Parvati which signifies this festival of love in the state.
Holi is popular as Hola Mohalla in the state. The first day is celebrated as Holika Dahan with songs and dance (but no bonfire). On the second day, people throw colours at each other and also display martial arts. Mouthwatering snacks like puri, halwa, gujiya, raw jack fruit are the essential part of the festivities.
The Capital, celebrates Holi in a very energetic way. The vibrancy is displayed in each corner of the city. The first day is celebrated as Holika Dahan with a bonfire. On the day of Dhulandi, people move in groups and apply colours to each other. Feasts, colours, loud music, Holi party is just part of the culture. Being the political center, it is celebrated at even President and Prime Minister Residences, where everyone gathers and plays Holi. Gujiya, Mathri, and Shakarpara are relished on this day.
The country is most colourful at this time and one should definitely experience this festival.