As diverse as India is, so are the festival celebrations in our country. The color fiesta Holi is round the corner and its fun and enthusiasm is already in the air. Different regions celebrate Holi in their own unique way. From traditional Holi of Vrindavan to the modern style celebration in Delhi, this festival is as vibrant as its colors.
Let us talk about a few places where Holi celebration has a distinct definition:
1- Vrindavan and Mathura- Being Lord Krishna’s birthplace and the place where he spent his childhood, Mathura and Vrindavan have still kept the traditional essence of Holi alive. Pre-celebrations start from Basant Panchami and continue till the actual Holi eve. Long religious processions, loud music and color drenched atmosphere mark the festivities of this area. Religious ceremonies at the Banke Bihari Temple start almost a week ago.
2- Barsana- While talking about unique Holi celebrations, how can we forget the Lathmar Holi (Holi with sticks) of Barsana in Mathura? The fiesta starts about a week ago. Barsana, being the birthplace of Radha, has particular interest in the eve. Men from nearby village Nandgaon try to enter Barsana in order to raise their flag on the Radhika Ji Temple. However, women of Barsana keep them from doing so and beat them up with sticks, all in the playful spirit of Holi. If you want to experience Lathmar Holi , you need to be there at least two days before Holi.
3- Jaipur and Udaipur- Jaipur and Udaipur are known for their royal Holi celebrations. In Udaipur, particularly in the Mewar Royal Palace, Holi starts with royal procession with embellished horses. This is followed by bonfire ceremony, known as Holika Dahan. On the other hand, Jaipur’s Holi is all about elephants- processions, contests and wars.
4- Shantiniketan- Started by the Bengali Poet Rabindranath Tagore, Holi at Shantiniketan, West Bengal is known as Basant Utsav. Celebrated in the delightful spirit of the spring season, Basant Utsav involves joyous Holi music and dance, cultural program and playing with colors. It is also the day of the annual function in Vishva Bharati University.
5- Delhi- The capital city celebrates the most modern Holi in the country. DJs, awesome Bollywood music and color drenched dance functions are symbolic of Delhi’s Holi celebration. Popular musicians are also invited in some such events for concerts.
So, if you are thinking of enjoying this Holi in a unique way, pack of bags and head to any of these destinations. Happy Holi!