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. In this rather, conservative state Holi gives license to
the youth to mingle freely and give colourful expressions to their feelings
for each other.
Not to be missed are the mouthwatering delicacies the state has for the
festival. Gujiaya, mathri, dahi badas are a must besides many others
The major ritual of Holi in this state, is the lighting of bonfires, better
known as Holika on Chhoti Holi on a day prior to the main Holi. The
tradition signifies the victory of good over evil and finds its root in the
various legends associated with the festival. Mainly, the story of demon
king Hiranyakashyap. The King planned the death of his son, Prahlad an
ardent devotee of Lord Naraayana with the help of his sister Holika. Prahlad
was saved by the
of God while Holika was consumed by
Description of Holi is incomplete without the mention of Bhang
(cannabis).Holi has become synonymous with it for many. The tradition of
eating bhang -- an intoxicating substance is rampant in northern India. It
is usually consumed in the form of laddoo or as thandai. Consumption of
bhang adds greatly to the revelry as people get high on it.
The land of Shiva, Banaras (or Varanasi as it is now known), is specially
famous for its high level of bhang consumption. Sitting on the 'ghats' or
steps leading to the Ganga river, people drenched in colours can be seen
grinding bhang and mixing it with milk and various dry fruits to enhance the
Celebration of Barley Harvest
The festival is also the celebration of barley harvest. On Chhoti Holi,
people come together to light the fire. They bury a pot of new barley seeds
under the pyre for roasting. These seeds are eaten after the fire is
extinguished. Divinations for the coming harvest are cast by interpreting
the direction of the flames or by the state of the seeds in the buried pot.
People sometimes take embers from the fire to their homes to rekindle their
own domestic fires. The ashes from the Holi fire are also believed to
provide protection against diseases.