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Holi is a major festival of Indiay. Here is an account of Holi celebration across India.


Holi Celebration in India



Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is celebrated across the country with the same enthusiasm and joy. However, each region has its own flavor and variations to it. Different states have a different way of celebrating it according to their own cultural traditions. Let's have a look at the different parts of the country and see how it is celebrated across India. It is said that Holi originated in North India so the celebration here has a special touch to it. As according to legends Krishna spent most of his childhood in Mathura and Vrindavana. So here Holi is celebrated with great gusto for many days. Situated in the Northern part of Indian the state of Uttar Pradesh, celebrates Holi over a week or so. Each major temple, housing the idols of Krishna and Radha, celebrates Holi on a different day. People throng the temples to get drenched with colored water and consider it a blessing from the god. Mathura and Vrindavana is the major place of attraction during the festive season. Young men and women take part in the Holi celebration as they try to put gulal on each other. In Haryana also it is celebrated in a grand way as the brides of the Hindu undivided families hang a pot of buttermilk high up in the streets as a challenge to their brother-in-laws, who try to get and break the pot by forming a human pyramid to reach it. Women try to stop them by beating them with their saris rolled up as ropes. This depicts the mock drama of Lord Krishna stealing milk, butter and curd from the cow maid's house. In the evening, the brother-in-laws bring sweetmeats for their sister-in-laws. In the western part of the country too it is celebrated in more or less similar fashion. Like the northern state Maharashtra and Gujarat also host mock-drama of Lord Krishna trying to break the pots and steal the butter. Besides this men also takes out grand procession in these places totally soaked in colors.

In the eastern part of the country it is celebrated with similar enthusiasm and joy. In Bengal, Holi is called Dol Yatra (the Swing Festival) in which idols of Krishna and Radha are placed on swings and devotees take turns to swing them. Women perform pujas and sing devotional songs in praise of Lord Krishna and Radha and dance around the swing as men spray colored water and 'Abeer' (colored powder) on them. But with the passage of time these traditions are more or less lost. Nowadays people play with colored water and powders in the morning and then take out processions on the streets singing and dancing. Orissa too celebrates in a similar fashion as Bengal except for the fact that the idols of Jagannath is placed on the swing here instead of Krishna and Radha, who is believed to be another form of Krishna. Another very different way Holi is celebrated in Shantiniketan. Which was introduced by Rabindranath Tagore who celebrated Holi in his Bishwabharati University in Shantiniketan as Spring Festival known as Vasanta Utsav, which is celebrated in a very special way. As students of the university and youths dress up in bright yellow colorful dresses symbolizing the color of Vasanta. They stage a number of cultural programs involving group choreography, songs and dance followed by playing Holi with 'Abeer' (colored powder). Today, Vasanta Utsav has become an important part of the Bengali culture as it attracts tourists from India and abroad.

In the northeast side also Holi is celebrated in a big way. It is a six-day long affair here. In Manipur the festival commences on the full moon day of Phalguna. In the 18th century, it merged with the traditional and centuries-old Yaosang festival of Manipur. Earlier, there were folk songs and dance performances under the moonlight accompanied by the indigenous drums. Today the way of celebration has changed.It is celebrated as a community festival. Devotees of Lord Krishna play 'gulal', sing devotional songs and dance in front of the Krishna temple. The last day of the festival is marked with a grand procession taken out towards the main Krishna temple in Manipur. In Imphal various cultural activities are performed. And talking about the metro cities of the country all of them celebrates Holi with colors, music, feast, dance and parties It is the spirit of Holi, which can be seen throughout the country.