Holi is one of the major festival of India and is the most vibrant
of all. The joys of Holi knows no bound. The festival is celebrated across
the four corners of India or rather across the globe. The festival is filled
with so much fun and frolic that the very mention of the word 'Holi' draws
smile and enthusiasm amongst the people. Holi also celebrates the arrival of
Spring, a season of joy and hope.
Legend of Holi Festival
Holi is one of the oldest festivals of India. There are many interesting
stories associated with the festival's origin as one moves across the
different states from North to South and East to West. Paintings and
scriptures depict the roots of the festival. Mythology plays a very
important part in narrating the festival of Holi. The most popular stories
of Holi origin relates to 'Holika Dahan' and Legend of Radha-Krishan.
Story of Holika
Integrally entwined with Holi, is the tradition of 'Holika Dahan', which is
actually lighting of bonfires. The ritual is symbolic of victory of good
over evil and has its root in the legend of demon king Hiranyakashyap who
wished to end his blessed son, Prahlad's life with the help of his sister,
Holika who burnt in the fir and no harm occurred to Prahlad. Since then the
day is celebrated in victory of good over bad.
Story of Radha and Krishan
The legend of Radha and Krishna is closely linked with this tradition of
colors on Holi. Young Krishna, who had a dark complexion was jealous of his
beloved Radha's extremely fair skin. In a mischievous mood, he applied color
on Radha's face. Following this ancient legend, lovers till date long to
color their beloved as an expression of love.
Holi Celebrations in India
Holi is famous as Basant Utsav in rural India. It is one of the major
festivals in India and is celebrated with extreme enthusiasm and joy. Gulal,
abeer and pichkaris are synonymous with the festival. Elaborate plans are
made to color the loved ones. Everybody wants to be the first one to color
the other. In the ensuing battle of colors, everybody is drowned not just in
colors of gulal but also in love and mirth. People love to drench others and
themselves in colored water. Gujiyas and other sweets are offered to
everyone who comes across to color.
Temples are beautifully decorated at the time of Holi. Idol of Radha is
placed on swings and devotees turn the swings singing devotional Holi songs.
Now-a-days small plays are organized reflecting the spirit of the festival.
What is remarkably same across the country is the spirit of Holi. Fun,
frolic, boisterousness to the extent of buffoonery marks this festival of
colors. What more can be expected- when the people get a social sanction to
get intoxicated on the bhang, open not just their hearts' out but also their
lungs. And viola, nobody is expected to take offense too, as the norm of the
day is, 'Bura na mano Holi hai' .
Holi in Andhra Pradesh
Though the celebrations of Holi in South India are not as grand as compared
to that in North India. Yet, what is particularly noticeable in Andhra
Pradesh as in other Dravidian states is the heightened feeling of communal
Holi in Bengal
Their is a particular elan in the way Holi is celebrated in the state of
Bengal. The panache is added by the presence of the rich Bengal culture and
the existence of Shantiniketan... more
Holi in Bhil
Tribes of North West India
The Bhils in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have their own special way to
mark the festival. It is interesting to note that these tribes have retailed
many of their pre-Hindu customs...
Holi in Barsana
Holi of Barsana -a village, 42 kms away from Mathura, UP and the birthplace
of Radha is of particular interest. Here, men from Nandgaon-the land of
Krishna come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana...
Holi in Bihar
The Holi is celebrated with the same fervour and charm in this state as in
rest of north India. Here too, the legend of Holika is prevalent. On the eve
of Phalgun Poornima, Biharis light bonfires... more
Holi in Delhi
Delhi being the capital and the heart of India, celebrates Holi with
extreme enthusiasm - even to the extent of boisterousness.
Being a metro city, an amalgamation of cultures and traditions can be
witnessed here... more
Holi in Goa
The energetic people of Goa do not lag behind the rest of the country when
it comes to Holi celebrations. The festival of spring is called Shigmo
in Goa. The festival is celebrated mostly by the masses following all
religious traditions... more
Holi in Gujarat
The vibrant Gujarat reverberates with the chants of the folk song-'Govinda
ala re, zara matki sambhal Brijbala..'.
People, specially the youth of
the state are high on the spirit of the festival...
Holi in Haryana
Holi assumes an entirely new colour in this state and gets its new name,
Holi in Himachal Pradesh
This festival is celebrated in much the same way as rest of North India.
They light bonfires-fires called Holika which is symbolic of victory of good
over evil... more
Holi in Madhya Pradesh
Revelry is no less in this state and same level of enthusiasm can be
witness amongst the citizens of this state as in the rest of North...
Holi in Maharashtra
Maharashtrians have their own grand style of celebrating Holi. Besides
other things, not to be missed is their mouthwatering delicacy -
Holi in Manipur
It is interesting to note how Holi is celebrated in this part of the
country. Here, the festivities continue for six days starting on the full
moon day of Phalguna... more
Holi in Mathura-Vrindavan
People from all corners of India, rather, world gather here every year to
feel the essence of Holi in the land of Krishna...
Holi in Orissa
The tradition followed in Orissa is quite similar to that of Bengal with
only minor region specific changes... more
Holi in Punjab
Known for their love for life, Sikhs celebrate Holi in their own style and
elan. Here, they call it 'Hola Mohalla'.
Holi in Rajasthan
This colourful state plays Holi much the same way as Mathura. The night
before the full moon, crowds of people gather together and light huge
bonfires to burn the residual dried leaves and twigs of the winter...
Holi in Uttar Pradesh
Celebrations in UP are not just restricted to Mathura and Vrindavan.
Rather, every nook and corner of the state gets wrapped in the multitude
hues of the Holi... more
Holi in Tamil Nadu
The Tamilians celebrate Holi around the legend of Kama Deva.
this day, songs are sung that tell the pathetic tale of Rati and her