The month of March marks the celebration of the two- day spring festival of Holi. Let’s have a look at how we celebrate this fun festival in full favor..
WORDS: SHIFA MEYAJI
INDIA takes pride in being the perfect example of Unity in Diversity wherein it welcomes various cultures, ethnicities and their festivals and traditions. There are an incredulous variety of festivals celebrated in the country, all of which have their own ancient history and significance.
Holi, one of the main festivals of Hindus, is also popularly known as the festival of colours. It is celebrated throughout the country in a variety of entertaining ways. The oldest and most popular legends about the reason for celebrating Holi is that of Prahlad, the son of Hiranyakasipu, and how he was saved by Lord Vishnu to signify the victory of good over evil and selfish motives of his own father.
Read on to see how there are several unconventional and unknown ways in which the states of India celebrate Holi.
In Uttar Pradesh, the people of Barsana celebrate ‘Lathmaar Holi’ which is a very fun and notorious event. The women beat the men, generally their husbands, with sticks after the men steal their attention by singing songs, and the men defend themselves with shields. It is a treat to look at and the people enjoy themselves by also throwing colours and coloured water at each other.
While Goa celebrates its famous ‘Shigmo Festival’ along
with traditional dances and processions with utmost fervor and excitement, the people of Assam celebrate ‘Phagwah’ which is their name for Holi. They burn clay huts on the first day to signify ‘Holika Dahan’ while their second day is filled with celebration with colours.
The communities of West Bengal celebrate ‘Dhol Jatra’ in which the people, dressed in beautiful brocades of saffron colour, take out a procession with idols of Krishna and Radha on the streets and spray colours on each other.
The people from Southern India also participate in Holi celebrations but they do have their own distinct names and rituals for it. Some worship God Kaamdev and spend the day meeting people and exchanging sweets. In Kerala however, Holi is known as ‘Manjal Kuli’ and is celebrated in the Konkani Temple of Gosripiram Thirumala.
Holi is most amazingly played in Bihar. It is known as ‘Phaguwa’ in their local Bhojpuri dialect and has the usual colour and water spraying along with the local popular folk songs with a touch of the famous Bhaang.
The lighting of the Holika pyre is a must before playing Holi.
Manipuris celebrate ‘Yaosang Festival’ which has been celebrated there for ages. It’s a six-day festival of which the popular dance, Thabal Chongba plays an important role and is performed in various places.
‘Hola Mohalla’ is celebrated a day before Holi in Punjab in which the Sikhs sing popular songs, perform stunts and martial arts. It is generally performed by the Nihang Sikhs.