HOLI – The Most Popular Indian Festival of Colors

HOLI: The festival of colors is one of the biggest festival celebrated all across India by all ages of people. Holi is a Hindu Festival celebrated in every states of India with various names and different traditions. In West Bengal and Orissa, it is known as Dolyatra or Basanta-Utsav and in Bihar its called Phagwa. Bonfires are lit the day before the colors festival started, also known as Holika Dahan. The Braj region, birth place of Lord Krishna includes Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana are very famous for the way of celebration of holi up to sixteen days. The famous Lath mar Holi being played in Barsana, when women beat up men with sticks.

Significance: The King Hiranyakashipu is associated with the festival Holi, great king of demons grew arrogant and demanded that people stop worshiping gods and start praying to him. The King Hiranyakashipu own a son Prahlada, who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, so king attempts to kill his son many times but failed, finally he ordered young Prahlada to sit on a pyre on the lap of his demoness sister, Holika. Holika has a boon which would prevent fire from burning her. When the fire start Holika burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed, the burning of Holika is celebrated as Holika Dahan.Traditional Holi: The holi festival is celebrated with colors also known as Gulal or Phagwa, flowers of dhak or palash are used to make traditional colors for Holi. A special drink called Bhang or Thandai specially drink during the Holi and Maha shivaratri, mixed in with spices, milk,cannabis flowers and sugar. Lath mar Holi, Kumauni Holi and Shigmo are the few way to celebrate the traditional Holi in different regions of India.Rangapanchami: Rangapanchami occurs a few days later on a Panchami, fifth day of the full moon, marking the end of festivities involving colors. The colorful and playful festival celebrated mostly in Maharashtra, Konkan regions, some Northern Karnataka districts, and some parts of Madhya Pradesh. The popular Holi songs from Bollywood with rain dance are few modern way to celebrate holi and Rangapanchami in metro cities of India.

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  • Atanu Banerjee

    Happy Holi