Holi is a special time of the year to remember those who are close to our hearts with splashing colors. It’s also the time to get together with your family and spend some moments of joy and happiness. One of the most cherished and treasured moments one have is of the celebration of Holi. Though, the festival of colors is celebrated with great fervour and zeal all across the country, but still there are places where the festival is celebrated in a unique way ranging from traditional rituals to modern parties with DJs, Bhang, plenty of colors.
So, if you wish to celebrate a memorable Holi this time, then here are a list of places where you will find a new kind of experience altogether.
1. Barsana: Lathmar Holi
The name of Lathmar Holi of Barsana is known to all, but not many know what it is all about. The women of Barsana village near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh beat up men from neighbouring Nandgaon village with sticks. It is better to visit Barsana a couple of days before the Lathmar Holi celebration to experience Laddoo Holi in which sweets are thrown around and spiritual songs of Radha and Krishna are sung.
2. Mathura and Vrindavan: Traditional Holi
In the temples of Mathura and Vrindavan, Holi celebrations get underway on Vasant Panchmi (end of winter) 40 days. Mathura is where Lord Krishna was born, while Vrindavan was where he spent his childhood. A week before the day of the festival a renowned show is held embracing the traditions of the festival’. Furthermore, there are week long celebrations in Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan are also legendary. The celebrations begin with the throwing of colors in the morning on the day before Holi. It starts with the throwing of flowers (Phoolon Wali Holi), it moves forward with a colorful Holi procession that starts from vishram Ghat and finishes near Holi Gate. If you want to catch the best place of throwing the colors, then it is Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura and you can also see priests making Bhang at Vishram Ghat.
3. Shantiniketan, West Bengal: Cultural Holi
The celebration of Holi as Basanta Utsav in Shantiniketan was initiated by Bengali Poet, Rabindranath Tagore. Inspired by Spring and the colors of Holi and he also introduced it as an annual event in his college. On this day, students come dressed up in spring colors and organize a huge cultural program for visitors, including dances to Tagore’s songs. And, then it is followed by the usual throwing of colors & it has become a cherished part of the history & culture and attracts numerous foreign visitors.
4. Purulia, West Bengal: Folk Holi
In the Purulia district of West Bengal, a 3-day event Basanta Utsav is organized. In this festival, you will get to sing and play Holi with the locals with a variety of folk art including Chau dance, Darbari Jhumur, Natua dance, and songs of West Bengal’s wandering Baul musicians. The festival organized by the villagers and it is also a way of their sustenance.
5. Anandpur Sahib, Punjab: Warrior Holi
If you wish to experience Holi the Sikh way, then Anandpur Sahib is the way to go. Started by, Guru Gobind Singh and apart from throwing colors, you will also see a demonstration of physical agility including wrestling, martial arts, mock sword fights, acrobatic military fights, and turban tying.
6. Udaipur: Royal Holi
Udaipur is a Royal place and so is their Holi celebrations. People light bonfires to mark the occasion and ward off evil spirits in the Holika Dahan ritual. You can join the celebration of Mewar Royal Family and witness a magnificent palace procession from the Royal residence to Manek Chowk at the City Palace, including bedecked Horses and royal band. After that a traditional sacred fire will be lit and an effigy of Holika is burnt.
7. Delhi: Musical Holi
Well, the capital celebrates in a grand style and if you are staying near Paharganj, then be prepared to get colored when you step outside. However, if you get tickets to the Holi Moo festival, which is full of color, music, and madness, then you are sure to have a grand Holi celebration.
So, which one does appeals the most to you and where would you like to go for Holi celebration this time? Let love be expressed this Holi with colors and an exuberant new experience!