It’s that time of the year when all of us will see beautiful colours up in the air. Everybody was mesmerised by the sweetness of Gujiya and Phirni and getting bombed with glasses full of Bhang Thandai. Yes, Holi is just around the corner and like always, all of us are excited to celebrate the festival of colours with great zeal and pomp. Holi is celebrated in different ways and grandeur in different cities of India. We have curated a list of the top 10 places, one must visit to indulge in the mind-blowing festivities of Holi.
Barsana is a village in Uttar Pradesh and is by far the most unique and amazing place to witness Holi celebrations wherein women armed with lathis playfully beat up men of the neighboring Nandgaon village. This ritual is commonly called as Lathmar Holi.
Shantiniketan witnesses one of the most exclusive Holi celebrations in the form of displaying the rich cultural heritage of the state of West Bengal. Students turn out in beautiful attires in colours of spring and a grand cultural program is organized. This event concludes with playing and throwing of natural colours. This joyful aura and celebration starts as Basanta Utsav which usually takes place a day prior to the scheduled date of Holi at other places.
Mathura & Vrindavan
Both of these places share a very deep connection with Lord Krishna. Mathura being Lord Krishna’s birthplace and Vrindavan is where he spent his childhood. The throwing of colours start a week prior to the actual date of Holi at several temples and localities in Mathura and Vrindavan. The very famous Indian folk dance- Raas Leela of Lord Krishna is performed splendidly in a grand fashion at both of these places.
When it comes to Punjab, things get more exciting!!! In Punjab, Holi is commonly called as Holla Mohalla which takes place a day following Holi and is mainly celebrated to bestow gratitude and commemorate the bravery of Sikh Warriors. The Nihang Sikhs, which is a particular sect of Sikhs, carry out a grand display of traditional martial arts on this day. This is followed by dance, music and throwing of colours on each other. Delicious desserts like Malpua, Halwa, Puri and Gujiya are served to add to the sweetness of this celebration.
The City of Lakes celebrates a very royal and splendid Holi. A ritual called Holika Dahan is performed wherein people burn bonfires so as to get rid of all the evil spirits. The Royal Mewar Family organizes a magnificent procession with royal etiquette and ritual at The City Palace. The royal parade and cavalcade include impressively decorated horses and a royal band which starts from the royal residence up till Manek Chowk.
Ahmedabad is no less when it comes to celebrating Holi. A pot filled with buttermilk is hovered at a height with the help of a rope. And a challenge is thrown to break the pot by forming a human pyramid. Thousands of people show up to participate in this festivity and the one who turns out to be successful in breaking the pot is crowned as Holi King. Holika Dahan is also celebrated here with great passion.
The spring celebration of Goa is commonly called as Shigmo and is celebrated with great enthusiasm wherein apart from applying colours, a huge carnival is planned showcasing traditional folk dance, street plays and religious traditions that attracts a great fanfare. Goa being a costal state where fishing is one of the main sources of income, fishermen paint their boats in bright colours exhibiting religious and mythical themes.
Delhi, apart from being a city of great political prominence, it is also known for it’s wild Holi celebrations. In Delhi, Holi celebrations generally begin with a Tilak drawn on the foreheads of people, as a sign of confidence and honour. Delhiites greet each other with garlands before the commencement of Holi. Delhi’s Holi turns out to be a wild celebration of music, madness and a stormy throwing of colours. And it’s quite customary that you’ll find people soaked with Bhang Thandai.
A day prior to Holi, a grand elephant festival in the city of Jaipur is organized. Elephant parades, beauty contests of elephants, mahouts(riders/keepers) banging and blowing musical instruments like Nagadas and Bankiya, elephant races and tug-of-war matches between elephants and people are some of the huge range of activities that are carried out in the carnival. Live performances by dancers and musicians along with excellent street food is also served at the fair to cater to your taste buds.
Upon the beginning of the full-moon day of Phalguna month of the year, the northeastern state of Manipur celebrates the great Yaoshang Festival during Holi. Since, the beginning of Vishnavism, this Manipuri festival is celebrated with great splendour and passion. The Yaoshang Festival is a 6 day cultural show wherein folk dancers and musicians perform amidst glowing lamps and bornfire along with playing with Gulal.
Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai!!!
Our country’s cultural heritage is just impeccable. It is definitely worth a visit to the above listed places to discover the different kinds of Holi celebrations that our country has in offer. With that being said, Trivy wishes you a very Happy Holi!!!