Holi Festival – Celebrate the Color and Bright Hues of Life

Holi in North India, Dol jatra in West Bengal, Phagwah in Assam is celebrated all across India with various names, but the purpose and the spirit of celebration remain the same. Indian people celebrate this festival to commemorate the departure of the cold season and the beginning of the season of spring which brings with it good harvest. Popularly known as the festival of colors, it represents the victory of good over the evil and this is brought about by the destruction of the demon called Holika. Holi also got its name from Lord Krishna, who played pranks on the village girls by applying color on them and drenching them in water.

The preparation of the festival: Holi celebration is a major festival in India and especially in the Northern part. On the eve of Holi, bonfires are lit to burn evil spirits and this also signifies the Holika Dahan. The entire country is in a festive mood, the market places are crowded with shoppers making preparations for the festival. Heaps of red, yellow, green, purple gulal are sold on the roadsides and children have the craze to buy water balloons and pichkaris every year, to drench their friends with colorful water.

Holi celebration in different parts of India: Family members and friends make elaborate plans and try to be the first on to spread the color on others. The royal family of Udaipur hosts an elaborate function at the City Palace and in U. P, it is specially celebrated in Mathura, Nandgaon, Barsana and Vrindavan. The entire atmosphere is filled with colors and people wear new clothes and meet each other in a cheerful mood. They play dholaks and sing songs of Holi in groups while throwing gulal in the air. Temples are also decorated beautifully and the idol of Radha and Krishna are placed on swings and the devotees sing devotional songs. In the evening, people visit their relative and friends and exchange sweets and good wishes.

The vibrant Gujarat also celebrates the festival with great spirit and young boys and girls move in processions “tolis”. They follow the tradition of breaking the earthen pots to steal the butter and buttermilk that are tied high with a rope. Hundreds of people observe the event of forming the human pyramid that is built to reach the pots. Again in West Bengal, Dol Purnima is celebrated with songs, dance and spreading colors. In Shantiniketan, everyone chants hymns early in the morning and the students wear saffron colored clothes and garlands of fragrant flowers.

Holi celebration strengthens the brotherhood of the country: Besides being the festival of colors, Holi is also a celebration that binds the secular fabric of India. It is a tradition when even the enemies and rivals forget all their feelings and turn to be friends. There is no discrimination between the rich and the poor and everyone is there to celebrate love and brotherhood.