Holi is one of most famous and important festivals of Hindus and celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in India. Celebrated in the month of March every year, this amazing festival of colours welcomes the season of spring in India. Though the basic celebration of the festival is same all across India, in many parts of the country it is celebrated in a different way. There are five major places in India where celebration of Holi has a separate identity and is worth experiencing it at least once.
1. Unique Holi Celebration in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is one of the most famous states of North India with many wonderful snow-filled destinations and pilgrimage places. Holi has three different types here in this state:
- Khadi Holi
- Baithki Holi
- Mahila Holi
All these three types of Holi are based on singing classical songs while the celebration. Baithaki Holi and Mahila Holi are usually celebrated in cities of the state while Khadi Holi is celebrated mostly in rural areas. Khadi Holi is celebrated where people are dressed up in white clothes which also include singing special songs and ragas inside the temples. Songs recited while celebrations of Khadi Holi are related to melody, fun and spiritualism which are also a part of celebration of Baithaki Holi which starts from Basant Panchami and ends till Dulhendi. Khadi Holi starts later than Baithaki Holi.
Mahila Holi, where Mahila stands for woman in Hindi, is celebrated by women signing songs for well-being of the loved ones. Cheer which is also known as Holika Bonfire is done fifteen days before Dulehndi in this region, which is also known as Cheer Bandhan, which burnt on the night before the Holi Day and it is called Cheer Dahan.
2. Unique Holi celebration in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Vrindavan which is the birth place of Lord Krishna and is believed that he used to celebrate Holi in a very authentic manner. Holi Celebrations here begins a week before the day of Holi. The Banke Bihari, the most famous temple of the place, is the main centre of celebrations in Vrindavan. Temple is decorated amazingly and devotees of Krishna come with dry coloured powder called Gulaal starting to sprinkle on the Lord and then on each other. Then later the day is followed by a playful ‘lathmaar Holi’ and singing the songs of Hori.
3. Unique Holi Celebration in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Rajasthan is one of the most colourful states of India famous for its traditions, culture and heritage. Holi here is celebrated uniquely depicting the royal history of Rajasthan where elephants are decorated with jewellery, saddles and different colours. Female Elephants are decorated with big anklets which make tinkling sound as they walk around the city followed by decorated camels and horses. Folk dancers also entertain the people around with traditional folk dance. People sitting on decorated animals sprinkle the colours on the onlookers standing aside. In recent times, the elephant festival has come in jeopardy due to animal protection group’s protest.
4. Celebrate Holi in Gujarat
Gujarat is a state where a single god is followed majorly which is Lord Krishna and thus holi is the most important festival of the state after Krishna Janmastami. The most important part of the Holi here is to anoint the Holi King of the year. Forming human pyramids trying to break the pot suspended on a height filled with buttermilk is the most crucial part of the celebration. Onlookers sprinkle water on the pyramid and the winner who breaks the pot is anointed as Holi King for that year. After this contest Holika is burnt with fire brought from local goddess. After Holika Dahan, the next day of Dhuleti is spent as Holi, played with colours and rain dance.
5. Holi Celebration in Himachal
Holi in Himachal is celebrated with whole lot of fun and gusto, being one of the most important festivals of the state. Women folk of the state perform special pooja during Holi where twigs of Kamal Tree are usually painted colours of yellow and red which are kept in baskets made of bamboo along with kumkum/roli, roasted grams and jaggery. Women carry these baskets in their hands as a part of the ritual along with pots of colours and they offer first to an elderly man or Dandocch and then they start playing holi.