SCFISociety for the Confluence of Festivals in India

Holi in Uttrakhand

The cheerful Holi Celebration in Uttarakhand

Holi is one of the most loved festivals of India when people forget all the enmities and resentments and come together to spread colour in each other’s lives. The festival comes during Phalgun Purnima and it usually is celebrated in the end of February or in the beginning of March. This festival has its roots in ancient times which signify the triumph of good over bad. It’s a way of revivifying our relationship and bridging the gap between the different sections of the society. People all over India including Uttarakhand, on the day of Holi, wish each other by hugging each other and hurling various colours. Holi comes with an enthusiasm of saying good bye to the winter season and welcoming spring.

Holi is celebrated with the same passion and gaiety in the state of Uttarakhand same as in other states of the country. The state is an amalgamation of various cultures from different parts of the country. It is believed to be one of the best and most attractive places in the country which gets lightened up and colourful for having been inhabited by plethora of tribes. It’s an unbelievable site during most of the cultural holidays and Holi is not an exception to it. The uniqueness lies in the fact that the celebration is done with three different forms. Here’s how people of Uttarakhand celebrate Holi and the three forms Kumaoni Holi that it takes:

1. Khadi Holi: Though three of these holis are based on singing classical songs, Khadi Holi is celebrated mostly in rural parts of the state. In this form of Holi, people dance and sing songs based on the theme of Holi. People white wearing Kurta and payajama forms group, to dance to the tunes of hurka and dhol. It also includes celebration in temples singing holi themed ragas.

2. Baithki Holi: This type of holi begins during Basant Panchami and is celebrated till Dulhendi. In some parts of the state it starts as earlier as in the month of December. Baithki holi celebration starts a little earlier than that of the Khadi holi. People dance on the tunes of some heart warming ethnic music in groups called tolis.

3. Mahila Holi: In accordance with the name, this type of Holi is celebrated by women of the state, singing songs showing their love for their family and friends. The mostly known Holika bonfire is called Cheer Bandhan in the state of Uttarakhand and it falls 15 days before Dulhendi. Cheer Dahan is burnt before the night of Holi which symbolises the victory of Prahalad over his father’s evil plans.

This festival of colour is believe to bring joy and happiness to people’s lives and create peace and harmony in their family. People play with colours like in other states of the country, welcoming the colourful splash of Mother Nature in the form of beautiful season spring. The people of Uttarakhand consider holi a festival to revive and rekindle the zeal of life. People of the state celebrate this day of colours with their family and friends vowing to maintain the spirit of harmony and tolerance. It may be celebrated in different states of the country with distinct traditions and with various names but it always aims at blending sweetness and happiness in the life of people.

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