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Holi Traditions around the Diverse Subcontinent


India is known for its diverse culture and rich traditions. It is a land of festivals. Each and every festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Holi is one of the major festivals of India. It is also called the ‘festival of colors’. There are many legends related to Holi.  With Holi around the corner and excitement all over let us look at some of the most interesting ways of Holi celebration.

A Very Hulladdi Holi-Uttar Pradesh :


‘Barsana ki holi’ is one of the most famous holi celebrations in India. Here, women armed with sticks(lathi) chase men and beat them while the men come prepared with shields to protect themselves. The ones who get caught by women are cladded in women’s clothes and made to dance on the street. However, all of this is done with great jest and in the right spirit. People from all over the world visit Barsana to witness the event. Legend has it that Lord Krishna put color on the face of Radha Rani and was chased by gopis, who were holding lathis in their hands. Since then it became a tradition.

A Musical Holi -Uttrakhand :


Kumaoni Holi in Uttrakhand is more of a musical affair than color. There are mainly three forms of holi that are the Baithki Holi, the Khadi Holi, and the Mahila Holi. They are unique as the songs on which they are based are a combination of fun, melody and spiritualism.
The Baithki holi begins from the premises of temples.  Its songs are heavily influenced by Kumaoni folk music traditions.Khadi holi is usually celebrated in rural areas. The last is the Mahila holi. It is like Baithki holi but composed of women only. People pray out aloud in unison in Kumaoni. Cheer is built with a Paiya tree branch in the middle.

Holi or Dol Jatra-Assam :


Assamese have a unique way of holi celebration. Here Holi is called by the name Phakuwa. It is a two-day festival and is locally called Dol Jatra. It is associated with the Satras of Barpeta. Satra is a monastery. People burn clay huts in Barpeta on the first day and on the second day it is celebrated with colors. It is devoted to Lord Krishna. Songs devoted to Him are sung by people in the chorus.

Modernism infused in Konkani Holi-Goa :


The tourist place of India has its unique way of celebrating Holi. It is known by the name of Shigmo in Goa and is also called Ukkuli in Konkani.  Local farmers perform street dance and traditional folk songs. Traditional Shigmo parades are held in various parts of the place. The tourist also takes part in the celebration with great enthusiasm. Holi events include live DJ performances. The traditional ‘Thandai’ or ‘Bhaang’ is served with food, sweets.

Lord of the World plays Holi- Odisha :


Holi is celebrated as ‘Dola’ in Odisha. On this day, the idols of Shri Radha -Krishna is replaced by those of Lord Jagannath. The idols of Balabhadra, Subhadra and Jagannath are taken to Dolamandapa which is a podium in Jagannath temple. People offer prayers and sweets to Lord Jagannath and smear color on the face of deity. This day is dedicated to Lord Jagannath. After the procession, people put colors on each other’s face and enjoy it with great zeal.

The one with no Dandiya, Holi- Gujarat :


Holi is a two day festival in Gujarat. On the first-day people light the bonfire known as Holika Dahan and offer raw coconut and corn to the fire. The second day of the festival is called Dhuleti. People apply color on each other’s face and sprinkle colored water on each other. In Dwarka, the festival is celebrated at the Dwarkadheesh temple.

The festivals of Holi brings out significant joyousness in our lives. Everyone is colored in colors symbolizing that we all are equal. Yet some people try to ruin this festival with their inappropriate behavior. They take too much liberty in the name of the festival. We must all remember that it is a festival of joy, love, and goodwill. It must be celebrated in a healthy and decent way. The spirit of the festival must be maintained.

Have a happy and safe Holi !

Written by:Priyanshi

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