Holi 2018: 5 unique ways in which the festival is celebrated across India
Holi is not just about throwing colours on each other. Here are 5 unique ways in which the spring festival is celebrated across the country.art and culture Updated: Mar 02, 2018 13:19 IST
The arrival of spring is celebrated with the festival of Holi. Holi is celebrated in remembrance of Lord Krishna playing with colours with Radha and the gopis. Festivities include smearing colour on each other’s face, splashing water and indulging in thandai and gujiya (fried dough snack). But this is not the only way to celebrate the festival. Here are some of the other ways:
A royal Holi
The Holika Dahan (to symbolise Holika dying from the flames while Prahlad survives) ritual is celebrated at the Udaipur City Palace with great fanfare. It includes a royal procession with ornamented horses and the palace band. It is followed by people gathering around the Holi bonfire to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Lath Mar Holi
In Uttar Pradesh’s Barsana village, festivities last for over a month. A week before Holi, women beat the men from a neighbouring village of Nandgaon, who try to throw colour on them, with sticks. It is based on the story of Krishna visiting Radha’s village to tease her, and being driven away with sticks. At the Barsana temple, they also celebrate Laddu Holi where priests throw laddus on each other.
Goa may be a great place for sun, surf and sand, but it is also a great place to spend your Holi vacation. Shigmotsav is a 14-day-long carnival that takes place at that time to mark the end of winter. It includes parades with floats, dances, drama and delicious local cuisine.
In Manipur, Holi is celebrated as Yaosang, which goes on for almost a week. Girls extract money from boys to play with colours with them. People wear white and yellow turbans and go to temples to play with gulal. A procession is taken to the Krishna temple in Imphal. The Manipuri dance of Thabal Chongba is performed in every locality to allow young boys and girls to meet. Sports tournaments are held as well.
Santiniketan, near Kolkata in West Bengal, was set up by Tagore in the early 1900. During Holi, it hosts the Basant Utsav, a quiet celebration of spring with cultural programs. Students dress up in vibrant colours and perform to Tagore’s compositions. West Bengal also celebrates Dol Purnima where students carry palanquins of Radha and Krishna on the streets.
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