We all love celebrating Holi. And why not? Afterall, it is the festival of colors. It is fun, vibrant and exciting. Holi this year, is just around the corner. But before you charge with your color bombs, do you really know how Holi has originated and how the festivity is celebrated across the globe.
Why is Holi celebrated?
Holi is the second biggest festival celebrated grandiosely in India after Diwali and it is also known as the festival of colours. The festivity brings joy, hope and strength to the life of people and is resplendently celebrated for two days in the month of February or March every year.
Holi was known as Hollika in ancient times as mentioned in the Puranas, Dasakumara Charita, and by poet Kalidas during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II. The celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama Ratnavali.
Holi is observed in devotion of the life of Lord Krishna, the sacred Hindu deity. Places related to life of Lord Krishna are known as Braj regions and Holi rituals in Braj regions like Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon and Barsana are the most sacred and famous ones in India.
The first day is known as Jalanewali Holi – the day of Holi bonfire, also known as Chhoti Holi and Holika Dahan. Holika Dahan is referred to Kama Dahanam in some parts of the country. The second day is known as Rangwali Holi – the day of people playing with colored powder and colored water. It is also known as Dhulendi.
How is Holi celebrated?
On first day bonfires are lit after sunset at Holika Dahan Muhurta. Next day is the main holi day known as Holi Dahan when people play Holi with dry and wet colors. People love to play Holi with dry colored powders which are known as Gulal. However many people feel that Holi celebrations are incomplete without wet colors. Wet color is applied on the face and is made on the spot by mixing little amount of water with dry colored powder. More enthusiastic Holi folk mix dry colored powder in full bucket of water to drench complete body in wet color.
Showering of the vibrant colors..
When it comes to the colors, various blend of hues are available in the market. Yet to avoid skin irritation, we suggest our readers to opt for organic eco friendly colors or natural colors. People smear each other and play outrageously. Celebrations are grand and so are the sprinkling of colored waters. Colors like Pink, Green, Yellow. Red, Blue, Magenta, can make you go color blind, and if not so, the wet colors will never fail to tease you. Colored solutions are mixed and with hand held sprayers called pichkaris, children and youngsters fire through the air. The carnival of colors make people go aghast with energy, frolic and playful, dancing and singing, enjoying together. The fight for colors take place in open fields or in house yards or temples and groups play drums and music, a time of the year where people forget all their sorrows and enjoy life in the name of Lord Hare Krishna. Holi delicacies include sweets and fruits, and sometimes intoxicated drinks like Bhang, made from cannabis leaves, are also consumed by enthusiasts. When games and color fights are over, people dress up in their new attires and visits friends, families and loved ones. People learn to forgive all past and mark a new start in life, sharing love and strengthening ties of love, belief, worship and harmony.
Best places to be..
Mathura has special mention when it comes to Holi celebration. The Lathmar Holi is exclusively famous across the world. Here women playfully hit men who save themselves by shields as men are culturally expected to accept what women dish out to them. It is a popular ritual in the Northern part of India and more primarily in Mathura city or Vrindavana, which beholds great importance as the prestigious birth place of Lord Krishna.
In Odisha, Dola is celebrated and in the famous Jagannath Temple, the deities are replaced by Krishna and Radha deity and bhog or sacred feast is offered. Natural color popularly known as abira is applied to the deity and on people and Dol yatra, a cult following procession of its own kind since time immemorial, takes place at the temple.
In western part of India, Gujarati people offer raw coconut and corn to the fire. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and with citywide comedy and music festivities in all pomp and splendor. The celebrations had its celebrative origins particularly with dance, food, music, and colored powder to offer a spring parallel of Navratri, Gujarat’s Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. Holi also marks the agricultural season of the rabi crop, as it falls in Hindu month of Phalguna.
In eastern most part of India, Dol Jatra, associated with Satras in Barpeta Assam, is observed where the statue of Lord Krishna is richly adorned and besmeared with colored powder and is taken out in procession in a swinging palaquin decorated with unique colours, clothes accompanied by devotional music, continuous chants of ‘joi prabhu’ and an uproar that is sacred and divine connecting all religious sentiments. Burning of clay huts can be observed in lower part of Assam signifying the legend of Hollika and raving up the night sky.
In Bihar, Holi also known as Phaguwa is prominent where people light bonfires and put sun dried cow dung cakes, wood of the Araad or Redi tree and Holika tree, grains from the fresh harvest and unwanted wood leaves in the bonfire and apply color on people to mark a new beginning. Holi milan is an extreme delight among children and youngsters, enjoy milk products and sweets passionately while elders indulge in Bhang and thandai to enhance the mood of the festivity.
While you are in Bengal, visit to Shantiniketan is a must. It celebrates with alluring music and visitors are offered delicious treats like kheer, doi and malpoa, basant colored sandesh sweets and payash of all flavours.
In Ahmedabad, a pot of buttermilk is hung high up above the buildings and young boys quest to reach for it and break it by making human pyramids. The girls also literally termed gopis; try to stop them by throwing colored water on them to commemorate the pranks of Lord Krishna childhood and the cowherd boys to steal butter. The boy who finally manages to break free the pot is crowned the Holi King.
In Sirsi Karnataka, folk dance are organised dedicated to the celebration called Bedara Vesha. Special south Indian delicacies are prepared while enjoying the magical folk night of different dance tribes.
Holi in Punjab is celebrated by painting courtyards of houses with colors called rangoli and these arts add to the festive atmosphere. Rangoli includes drawing tree motifs, peacocks, palanquins, geometric patterns along with vertical, horizontal and oblique lines, deity symbols or sometimes unique shapes called alpana.
Holi when out of India..
Holi is a hit outside of India as well. Neighboring countries of Nepal, Thailand, Burma has picked up well. Worth mentioning that in recent times, Holi has seen huge impact in US as well. Canada hosts a large number of events. People across the globe, has become familiar with the joys of the color springs.
The Spanish Fork, Utah
The majestic Radha Krishna Temple in Utah is principle organizer in town community hall. Huge gatherings attend the events also called The Festival of colors. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, known coloquially as the Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organization founded in NY city speaking of core Hindu beliefs and worshipped by Krishna followers, is an important foundation in abroad of India. It undertakes active part in celebration of the festival of colors. Music concerts and games are organized for the event and captivates people from across the world. It is one of the biggest festival and is one of a kind of its own.
Leap of spring, Manchester
Hindus settled out in the UK do not miss out of the fun as well. In Birmingham at the Canon Hill park, color festivals are organized. When visiting Newcastle or Manchester, ‘Leap of spring’ is a similar event and is extremely popular.
Even in London, dancing, music and color games are popular and in recent years, huge crowd are enthusiast about the same. They also include live street dance performances, live music concerts and food stalls of Indian flavor.
Holi Fusion, Paris
Holi Fusion was founded in Netherlands and spread across Europe in the twentieth century. In Paris, this event has gained prominence over the years, and uniting people of gender equality, with the mission of an explosion of music and colors to bring people together.
Pictures of Holi celebrations across the globe
Image: Dancing to the tunes and marking a new beginning. Holi party in Sweeden.
Image: Traditional flower raangoli design, a popular practice among Indian women.
Image: Different shades of color enjoyed by crowd in Minneasota, US.
Image: Celebrating color festival with family and loved ones.
Image: People playing Holi in Radha Krishna Iskon temple in Utah, USA.
Image: Laathmar Holi, a tradition popular in western part of India.
Image: Famous Dol Yatra, a ritual for devotion, belief and sentiments, in Eastern India.
Image: Holi colors aka Gulal
So how excited are you? Its the time of the year where you get to be playful and bring colors to your life as well as your loved ones. Celebrate and have fun responsibly, forgetting tough times and bringing new energy to your lives. Our whole team at TrendingPost wishes all its readers a very happy and colorful Holi.
Best Wishes: TrendingPost.com