Understanding the Beauty of Holi Festival
Various international tourists visiting India during this spring festival wonder watching the locals splashing colours on each other. Well, that is the beauty of the Holi festival. It is celebrated at the beginning of the spring season and falls on the full moon day in the month of Phagun (Feb-March). Holi festival in India will be celebrated on 20th March in 2019. This colourful festival is also called the Vasant Mahotsav and considered as the harvest festival in some regions.
Having new crops in their stores make farmers happy and they celebrate Holi to rejoice the new crops.
Why is Holi the Festival of Colours?
You must be wondering why the Holi festival is celebrated with colours? Well, there’s a reason behind it. If you are aware of the Hindu mythology, you might be knowing Lord Krishna and his love for Holi celebration. Legend has it that Lord Krishna, during his adolescence, used to prank Gokul’s residents with colours during this festival. He gave this festival a new meaning by adding colours to it and made it the festival of colours. With time, the way of celebrating Holi festival has changed, but the magic and charm this festival carries cannot be affected with the passage of time.
3 Days of Holi Festival Celebration
This festival begins on the full moon day of Phagun when all members of the family get together. A brass pot filled with coloured water is placed alongside a brass disc (thali) filled with Gulaal. Each member sprinkles little colour on each other. Young ones touch feet of their elders and take their blessings. Family and friends then sit together and sing numerous folks songs on the beats of dholak.
The 2nd day is the main Holi festival. It also referred as Holika Dahan or Choti Holi. On this day, people of a locality put a pyre that symbolizes demoness Holika and Prahlad. As a Holi ritual, people take 5 round of the pyre or bonfire and put barley seed under it. When the fire burns out, its ashes are taken to home by people as it is considered auspicious.
The 3rd day marks the madness of Holi. This day is called Dhulandi. Everyone smeared in colours chases one another and paints each other with vibrant colours of Holi.
This festival is played in the northern region of India with great enthusiasm. Be it streets, temples, home or any other place, you can find people splattering each other with the powdered paint called the Gulaal.
But before we discuss the best places for Holi celebration in India, let us take ourselves back to billions of years ago to discuss the origin of Holi.
Holi A Prominent Hindu Festival is Named After a Demoness!
The festival of Holi is named after a demoness Holika. The legend goes like this.
Billions of years ago in the Satyug (the era of Satya – Truth), a demon named Hiranyakashipu did great penance and was blessed with the boon that promised him almost immortality. After he got boon, his cruelty spread like an epidemic on the humanity. He banned pooja, havans and all good deeds. Irony has it that his own son was the big follower of Lord Vishnu, whom Hiranyakashipu considered his biggest enemy. He asked his son (Prahlad) to stop worshipping Lord Vishnu and instead start worshipping him. Prahlad's refusal made him furious.
Hiranyakashyap asked his sister Holika to take Prahlad in her lap and sit on the pyre. Holika, who had a boon to be invincible from the fire, did the same. But what Hiranyakashipu expected did not happen and instead of his son Prahlad, Holika turned into ashes. Ever since the festival of Holi is being celebrated in India to remember the triumph of good over evil. The mythological importance of Holi festival is still relevant till the present time.
Explore These Places To Celebrate Holi in India
The festival of colours is celebrated with great zeal throughout the country, yet there are some special places in India where you will find an altogether different and more pulsating form of this festival.
If you are planning to visit India during Holi festival, then do not forget to carry colours with you because when the whole country with Gulaal, it would be impossible for you to stay clean and colourless. To make your Holi festival in India more memorable, we will tell you about the best places in India to celebrate Holi-
Udaipur is famous for its lakes and palaces. One more thing that makes this place even more attractive is the way Holi is celebrated here. A day before playing Holi, people of the lake city gather beside a bonfire and perform various rituals to commemorate good over evil. On the following day, people flood the city with colours and Gulaal. Celebrating Holi in Udaipur will be a treat for you.
The pink city Jaipur has its very own enigma when it comes to Holi celebration. During Holi festival in Jaipur, people prepare various delectable traditional cuisine such as Gujhiya, Papdi, Sweet and Shakarpara, just to name a few. People from national and international places visit Jaipur during Holi festival and enjoy the royal touch with a sprinkle of naughtiness in this festive season. Whenever you plan your Holi festival in Jaipur, do not forget to visit Govinddev Ji temple here.
Known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura celebrates Holi for almost a month with the utmost zeal. Legend has it that one day Lord Krishna threw colour on Radha Ji to equate his dark complexion with her and ever since Mathura celebrates Holi with more vibrancy. If you wish to know the real meaning of the Holi festival, then you must visit Dwarkadheesh temple in Mathura during the Holi festival.
Vrindavan is also associated with Lord Krishna and so it is obvious that the celebration of Holi in Vrindavan is also enticing. It is believed that in Vrindavan, Lord Krishna has spent his childhood and thus, it makes Vrindavan the best place to celebrate Holi in India. The real charm of this colourful festival can be experienced in the temples of Vrindavan. Temples have musical processions, traditional songs and colourful hymns that are based on the Radha Krishna Holi act- Raas Leela. Do not forget to visit Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan during the Holi festival. The temple organizes a week-long Holi celebration in its premises.
Among all the places in India, Holi celebration at Barsana village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is quite different. The place is famous for Lath Maar Holi, which literally means beating with sticks. The concept of Lath Maar Holi started with Lord Krishna. He with his friends came to Barsana, the village of Goddess Radha on the day of Holi and used to tease her and her friends. To teach Krishna a lesson, Radha Ji with her friends ran after them to chase them away with a huge stick called lath in the local dialect.
Ladli Ji temple, dedicated to Goddess Radha, is the best place in Barsana to cherish the real essence of Lath Maar Holi. Barsana celebrates the festival of Holi for two days. On the day 1st day, men from Nandgaon come to Barsana to play Holi with women. It is the time when women hit them with sticks. Thus, the festival got its name Lath Maar Holi. On the second day, women go to play Holi with the men of Nandgaon.
You won't find any place less zealous in celebrating this vibrant festival. Each place and city has its own charm and unique style of celebrating Holi.