Each festival in an Indian calendar brings people of the country together. Surprisingly, no matter to which caste or religion it pertains, the joy of celebratingis equal in everyone’s heart.
Somewhat similar is reaction of Nagaland over Holi. It is good to see how the Prime Minister of the state presents himself in front of the public to greet and pass on warm wishes for the day every year. Today, Holi festival in Nagaland is not less than in a Northern state of India.
Nagaland is a mountainous region in northeast India, thickly wooded and cut by the deep river valleys. It caters people from varied tribes and background and thus the Holi celebrations is more region specific with age old traditions and beliefs. The small markets of this state sells unique items and the festivities in Nagaland are filled with merriment; Holi is nothing exceptional and the festivity is marked with pompous celebrations.
People in regions like Dimapur come out of their houses dresses in old clothes. They have colours in their hand, ready to be spread over the face of each person they meet on the way. The celebration takes place mostly in the outdoors and not amidst the houses.
Over years, there have been new ideas of Holi festival celebration in Nagaland initiated by youngsters. They attempt to add new things in the colours while playing Holi. These inclusions vary from oil to even eggs. Though, such ideas are not found to be supported by the elder group of people. It is just an attempt to make the celebration more exciting and different.
The communities of Nagaland also follow the tradition and belief of playing Holi on two days. The first day of Holi celebration is said to be JalanewaliHoli where Holi bonfire takes place. The other names for this day are ChhotiHoli, HolikaDahan and Kama Dahanam in South India. Irrespective of the name,few rituals are common during Holi celebration in each state of India.
The second day of Holi celebration in Nagaland is the one given more importance. The relevance of the Holi bonfire is not that widespread. It is usually performed in the families from Hindu background and their neighbouring houses also participate in the ritual with them. This day is called the RnagwaliHoli, Dhulandi, Dhulendi or Dhuleti in some parts India. Children are more excited for this day’s celebration in Nagaland. And even elders participate in play of colour only to celebrate the joy of Holi.
Yes, this is true that the place does not experience the loudness to a high extent. As they do not indulge in much happening affairs, having Dhols and exclusive food preparations on Holi is the sole focus! This sort of celebration is more popular in Hindu communities of Nagaland.
However, Nagaland has its own way of enjoying Holi. It is a day to give more importance to universal brotherhood, trust and renewal of gaps in relationships for people residing here, especially when the state has been experiencing turmoil and lack peace since long. Holi arrival embarks an opportunity for them to forget all this!