Holi festival is one of the major festivals of India and celebrated with joy and fervor throughout the country. It is celebrated in the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar. which commemorates with the month of March in the Gregorian calendar. Though the festival is celebrated in most of the parts of the country.
The celebrations have a regional influence in their rituals and traditions. The celebration of Holi festival is known as the ‘celebrations of colors and joys’. Holi starts at midnight with a bonfire of Holika. The celebrations come to climax in morning when colors and music fill the entire atmosphere with zeal of joy.
North India is famous for its rough and tough kind of Holi. Legends say that Lord Krishna spent most of his childhood in Mathura and Vrindavana. He was the one to introduce the modern form of Holi in this part of the country. That is why Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm at these places for about a week.
Mathura and Vridavana
The major temples of the region dedicated to Krishna and Radha celebrate Holi. Very similar to these two places. Most of the North Indian states, Holi means getting drenched with colored water and gulal. It is considered auspicious as well as becomes quite enjoyable.
Punjab and Haryana
Holi is celebrated in a yet interested way. Women try to stop them by beating them with their saris rolled up as ropes. This mock-drama is staged to commemorate the playful pranks of child Krishna. who would steal milk, butter and curd from the maids’ houses. The color play also takes place simultaneously.
Soaked with colored water, they walk through the streets and sing to mock alert the people of the house in the locality to take care of their pots of butter and milk as Krishna may come in and steal them. At the time of evening, people visit each others home, exchange sweets and good wishes.
West Bengal has an interesting and different kind of Holi. In Bengal, Holi is called Dol Yatra in which idols of Krishna are placed on swings. Devotees take turns to swing them. Women perform devotional songs and dances around the swing. Men spray colored water and ‘Abeer’ (colored powder) on them.
The Holi of Manipur is interesting enough to draw the attention. Holi is a six-day long in Manipur and commences on the full moon day of Phalguna.