Holi is one of the key festivals in India and the most energetic of all. There is no limit to the happiness of Holi. The Holi celebration in India is filled with a lot of fun and gaiety that the mere mentions of the word Holi fill people with enthusiasm and a smile. Holi also celebrates the arrival of spring, a season of hope and joy.
Holi is popularly known as BasantUtsav in India. This festival is celebrated with utmost joy and enthusiasm. Gulal, pichkari are synonymous with this holi festival. Elaborate schemes are made to colors the loving people. Everyone wishes to be the first to color their friends or family members. In this colors battle, everyone is immersed not only in the colors but in love and fun as well. People like to soak themselves and others in colorful water. Different kinds of sweets such as gujias, laddoos, and more are provided to everybody that is come in color.
Why is Holi Celebrated?
Holi is one of the oldest festivals in India. There are several interesting stories related to the origin of the Holi festival as a move in various states from East to West and North to South. Scriptures and coloring picture the motives of the festival. Mythology plays a most crucial role in telling the Holi festival. The very famous story of the origin of Holi is related to HolikaDahan and the story of Radha Krishna.
Story of Holika Dahan
Integrated with Holi is the tradition of “Holika Dahan” that is actually lighting a bonfire. This ritual signifies the victory of good on negativity and has its motives in the legend of devil King Hiranyakashyap who with the help of his sister, Holika wanted to end the life of the king’s blessed son Prahlad, but Holika was burnt in cedar and there was no damage to Prahlad. Since then the day is celebrated as the victory of good on evil.
Story of Radha Krishna
The story of Radha and Krishna has a deep connection with this color’s tradition on Holi. Young Krishna, whose complexion is dark, was jealous of the very fair skin of his beloved Radha. Krishna applied color on the face of Radha in a mischievous mood. Following this ancient legend, lovers want to paint their beloved as a love expression to date.
How is holi celebrated in India
The festival of Holi celebration in India with great enthusiasm and fervor. Adults and children eagerly await the Holi festival and enjoy getting drenched in water and applying paint on people’s faces. Bhang, a traditional Indian drink prepared from the female cannabis plant, is the standard in several regions of India, particularly in the north states. Special sweets like gujias and bhang laddoos are made for the Holi celebration in India.
How many Holi are celebrated in India?
This is that time of year when the colors are all around in the air. Necessarily the festival of colors, Holi is also recognized for the myriad ways in that this is celebrated in India. Let us take a look at the several aspects and regional specificity of the holi celebration in India.
1. Shimga or Rang Panchmi
In western Indian, especially in Maharashtra, Holi is recognized as Shimga or Rang Panchmi. The celebrations all involve HolikaDahan, a common tradition that includes burning firewood the night prior to the actual celebrations. The next morning, that is the day of Rang Panchmi, people celebrate Holi with dry and wet water and colors.
2. Royal Holi
Moving forward Udaipur, Rajasthan, the local people also comply with the traditional ritual of HolikaDahan, though a little different. The celebrations here are considered to be really grand and organized by the royal Mewar families in Udaipur. A fancy procession takes place as part of the festivities and involves many royal bands and decorated horses.
As we move towards Punjab, an interesting aspect emerges. The Holi is here knows as HolaMohalla. This celebrated a day after Holi and in fact, a festival celebrating the Sikh warriors’ bravery. The celebration of Holi is characteristic of a special sect, recognized as Nihang Sikhs. The festivities involve and utmost display of traditional martial arts, followed by dance and music.
Moving to Uttrakhand, we learn that here is Holi actually recognized by many different names. KhadiHoli, BaithakiHoli, KahilaHoli, and MahilaHoli are all the basic names for the Holi festival. The festivities involve wearing traditional attire and dancing and singing folk songs that roam in the city. This collecting of people is referring as Toli and the local people each other by applying colors on the faces and singing and dancing. Not like other cities of India, dance and songs are a necessary part of Uttarakhand for Holi celebrations.
5. Lathmar Holi
The journey constant to Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state of India and very interesting Holi celebration in India. Lathmar Holi as this is known in local region has a very different approach to the whole Holi celebration. The women here are armed with the sticks, throughout the festival men cane to play. In return, the men come dressed up with shields to secure themselves. The unlucky one who are caught are forced to wear women’s dress and dance in the streets. All this is mainly done in fun.
Now we move to East towards Bihar where Holi is recognized as Phaguwa in the Bhojpuri. There is also HolikaDahan is a particular part of the Holi celebrations. The HolikaDahan celebration is also same like other states. The next day Holi is celebrated with dry and wet colors and with traditional music during the day.
Next move forward to the North Eastern Manipur. Here Holi is celebrated for six days and is locally recognized as Yaosang. The festivals here mix indigenous Hindi and North Eastern traditions. While Holi is a celebrated with both wet and dry colors, the main attraction of Holi is ThabalChongba, a traditional folk dance or Manipur performed throughout the festivities.
8. Dol Jatra
Next move in the West Bangal. Here is the Holi is recognized as Dol Jatra or Basant Utsav. Here women mainly wear yellow dress, a color that signifies abundance. If you want to be the part of this Holi Celebration in India, there is a quaint spot recognized as Bolpur for Shantinikatan. This small location is the epicenter of all reflection of the rich culture of Bangal. The Holi celebration here is unique till date.
The next Holi celebration in our list is Dola, which is celebrated in the Odisha. The Holi celebration here is very similar to that of West Bangal. The major attraction is that in Odisha hole is celebrates lord Jagannath, also recognized as Dolagovinda. Processions of Lord Jagannath are witnessed in various cities with the traditional coloring of dry and wet colors.
Now we come under God’s location Kerala. The state has a unique version of Holi celebration as knows as ManjaliKuli as recognized as Ukuli. The Konkani and Kudumbi Kerala communities are recognized to celebrate Holi in this tradtional way and the celebrations are not to be missed.
We end our journey in Goa. The local name of Holi in Goa is Shigmo, a huge celebration of the spring season. Traditional folk songs and street dances are plays by the farmers of the local region. The tourists also participate in the celebration of Shigmo with equal enthusiasm. Several traditional Shigmo parades are also held in different parts of Goa.
Best Places to celebrate holi in India 2021
1. Barsana – The LathmarHoli
The very unique kind of Holi celebration in Barsana. This is indeed the most wonderful location to witness the Holi celebration in India. Barsana is in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India seems a rare style of Holi. In this festival, the women beat men from the neighboring village Nandgaon with wood sticks and the men save their selves. Hence, this is usually recognized as the LathmarHoli. It is a wonderful experience to go to Brasana, that is definitely called India’s most popular Holi.
2. Mathura and Vrindavan
Both these locations have a deep link with Lord Krishna. Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate beautiful festivals on the eve of Holi and transform into the most wonderful locations for Holi celebration in India. The most popular RaasLeela of Lord Krishna comes alive at these locations. There are many temples in Vrindavan and Mathura, where the throwing of the colors begins almost one week before the real date of the festival of Holi.
The important city of vigorous Gujarat also celebrates a different style of Holi. This is the best location for the Holi celebration in India. People hand a pot filled with buttermilk from a rope at some height and challenge each other to break the pot by building a human pyramid. Lots of people participate in this challenge and the winner is crowned as Holi king. In Gujarat, the bonfires are decorating on the Holi evening as well.
Holi festival becomes a louder celebration in Delhi as balloons filled with water are thrown at people long before this Holi festival. This is s celebration of madness and music in Delhi with bhang, dance, colors, and dhol. Another amazing seem of celebration of Holi in Dubai is Thandai. If you wish to celebrate the most wonderful Holi then Delhi is the best location for you.
On the Holi evening, a festival of the elephant is organized to make the city an iconic location for Holi celebration in India. Celebration of Holi in Jaipur has included beauty contests of elephants, elephant parades, different kinds of folk dance forms, and several other festivities. The foreigners and locals equally participate in the festival of Holi in Jaipur.