Holi is celebrated in different styles in different places. And each version is equally delightful and unique.
Holi is perhaps the most boisterous of all Indian festivals. It is fun, colorful, and full of gaiety. If you think that Holi is just about smearing gulal then you are mistaken.
Holi is celebrated in different styles in different places. And each version is equally delightful and unique. Here is a list of the places which are known for their unique way of celebrating the festival of colors:
Nothing in the world matches the Holi, the way people of Braj play it. And why not? After all, it is the land of Lord Krishna!
Widely known as the Lathmar Holi, it is the day when the Brajwasi women rule. The women of Barsana village in the state of U.P. beat up men from neighboring Nandgaon village with sticks. Hence, the name Lathmar Holi.
Men are generally armed with shields to protect themselves from the sticks. All this done in the right spirit and everybody revels in the playful activity. Amid all this hysteria, people keep on singing Holi songs and shouting Sri Krishna and Sri Radhey.
Lathmar Holi celebrations start a week before the actual day of Holi. The zeal, the excitement experienced during Lathmar Holi in Braj is unmatchable. Many people from around the world descend on this village a few days before Holi to experience the magic and the action of the Braj’s Lathmar Holi. It is something unique and unusual and thus very memorable!
Jaipur Elephant Festival
In Jaipur, Rajasthan, Holi celebrations begin with a grand parade of elephants. Elephants are ornately decorated with colors and adorned with ear danglers, embroidered rugs, scarves, parasols, and anklets.
These massive animals are walked through the streets. A tug-of-war between elephants takes place, including many other activities such as elephant beauty contests (yes, elephants walk the ramp too!), folk dances and more.
In Gujarat, people fill an earthenware pot with makkhan (buttermilk) and hang it high up on a rope in the streets. Young boys gather around the pot below, joins hands, form a human pyramid and some gutsy boys climb over the others in order to reach up to the pot and break it. It is something you must have seen in many Bollywood songs, but to experience it firsthand is different thing altogether.
In Bihar, people light bonfire to mark the victory of Prahalad over Holika. A day before the Holi, people gather around the bonfire and put Araad wood, cow dung cakes, grains from the fresh harvest in it.
On the day of Holi, people throng the streets and throw gulal over each other, spray colored water from syringes and buckets and burst water balloons over each other.
No matter how Holi is celebrated in different regions, the spirit of Holi remains the same! And of the characteristics remain the same such as smearing each other with colors, eating gujiyas (sweet delicacies made during Holi), drinking bhaang and thandai and relishing bhaang infused pakoras.
In West Bengal, Holi is celebrated by the name of Basant Utsav which was started by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan. Unlike boisterous Holi celebrations of other states, Holi in West Bengal is celebrated in a graceful manner with songs, dance, and chanting of hymns.
Hola Mohalla, Punjab
Holi is celebrated as Hola Mohalla in Punjab. It is actually a fair that is celebrated for three days in a row. Annually held at Anandpur Sahib, Hola Mohalla was started by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru. The fair features music, poetry competition, bareback horse-riding, and more. Langars (voluntary community kitchens) are also held at Anandpur Sahib and food is served to the visitors.
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