HOLI is one of the most widely celebrated festival in India. This festival of colours is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which usually occurs around March. Holi festival is celebrated in variety of ways all over India, due to the diverse nature of the country.
Why is Holi celebrated?
Diverse nature of the celebration of Holi, is due to variety of beliefs in different parts of India. Holi festival usually celebrates the victory of good over evil. Widely associated with the immortal love of Hindu gods, Radha & Krishna, is also the reason of celebration. Commencement of Summers also holds a significance for the celebration.
The celebration spans from traditional temple rituals to modern celebration with DJ’s, dhol, bhang etc. The following are some of the most popular celebrations over India.
Traditional Holi at Mathura and Vrindavan.
Birthplace of Lord Krishna, Holi begins to happen on Vasant Panchmi(End of winters) in this temple town of Mathura.
The celebration of Holi also takes place at the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, which holds a week-long celebration. Starts with throwing flowers(Phoolon waali Holi) on visitors by the priests of the temple, proceeding with playing Holi with colours
It attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over India, making it one of the best places to visit near Delhi, especially to celebrate Holi. source: http://rajeevmehta.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/10-1024x576.jpg
Lathmar Holi at Barsana (Holi with Sticks).
In a rather bizarre tradition, the women of Barsana and Nandgaon villages beat up men with sticks on this very occasion. Considered one of the most unusual and famous, this celebration is widely known all over India and attracts tourists, who wish to witness this bizarre tradition.
Spring Festival at Shantiniketan.
Introduced by the great Nobel laureate and Bengali Poet, Rabindranath Tagore as Basant Utsav, this Holi celebration at Vishva Bharati University is considered one of the most beautiful celebrations in India. Students dress-up in bright spring colors for a huge cultural program which starts from folk dances followed by throwing of colors. source: https://www.telegraphindia.com/1150306/images/06metpradip2_183851.jpg
Holla Mohalla in Punjab.
This is the Sikh way of celebrating Holi. It is celebrated at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. This three-day grand festival consists of display of Sikh martial arts, mock sword fights, weapons exercises etc. followed by kirtans, music and poetry competitions. source: http://dailysikhupdates.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/jdsjmmfd665.jpg
Royal Holi at Udaipur & Jaipur.
The grand celebration at Udaipur begins on the eve of Holi with Holika Dahan, where ignite a bonfire to represent end of the evil. The Maharaja of Mewar along with honorable guests and foreign tourists ignite the bonfire near the palace which is then followed by folk songs, lavish dinner and beautiful fireworks.
At Jaipur, the festival was celebrated with Elephant festival which displayed huge elephant parades, Elephant beauty contest and elephant tug-of-war followed by folk dances and folk songs. Unfortunately, the celebration hasn’t taken place since 2012 due to pressure from animal right groups. If you still want to attend a local Holi festival in Jaipur, you can try EleHoli.
Holi in Hampi (South India).
Although it’s rare to find celebration of Holi in South India, Hampi, Karnataka celebrates the festival of colours for 2 days. This is due to large number of foreigners present there. The crowd welcomes spring with vibrant colors along with dancing on loud music. source: https://www.bookmundi.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Holi-festival.jpg
Holi in Mumbai.
Holi at Mumbai is one of the best celebration. Holi parties are arranged all over the city. The celebrations include hanging a pot full of buttermilk and men clamber on top of one another making a pyramid-like structure and try to reach the pot to break it. This is known as Matki Phod, and is a major attraction in the city.
8. Modern Holi in Delhi.
At Delhi, the celebration of Holi is quite modernized. People start playing Holi in the morning followed by dancing to music played by DJs. Holi parties are organized, where lunch is provided to people along with drinks and sweets made out of Bhang, consumed by people to get high.
9. Pushkar Holi Festival Holi in Pushkar is considered one of the best Holi experiences in India. On the eve of Holi a huge bonfire is burnt to mark the end of evil and victory of good over it. Bewitching experience of Holi begins early in the morning as kids all over town start throwing colours at each other. Later they are joined by other people of the town including the foreign tourists. The festival gets even more interesting when people come out of nowhere and onslaught you with colours while shouting "Happy Holi" and runaway. The celebration attracts tourists from all over the India and tons of foreigner tourists as well. You can find and experience the Pushkar Holi Festival 2018 here: http://www.traveldglobe.com/trip/pushkar-holi-festival-2017
10. Goa Holi Festival or Shigmostav Holi in Goa is mainly concentrated in North Goa, including Panjim, Vasco, Vagator and Baga. Various Holi parties in Goa are organised at the beaches to make the most of the festival. A lot tourists all over the world get lured from the kind of celebrations that takes place at the beaches making it one of the best places to visit in India during Holi.