Monday, 5 March 2012

Holi the Spring Festival of Colours ,Love and Joy - India

Do you like Colours ! what about having a splash of bright colours and loads of fun ! Holi the Spring festival of India is all about adding colours to life.

India the land of diversity , deep cultural root and lovely festivals .One of the major festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the period around the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.
Weather use to be quite pleasant during this festival.

Social Importance– It’s basically a Hindu festival , but has acquired a very secular form. No one in north India can escape from the splash of colours on Holi irrespective of the religion. Everyone enjoy it. It encourage the Harmoney in society. All people become equal after drenched with colours.  

Holi in Other Countries – Holi is now celebrated in many other countries as well. The fun and secular element of the Holi festivals has attracted people in a large scale towards it celebration.

It has especially gained popularity in Utah Spain

Advent of the Spring Season – 

It marks the beauty of spring season! The season of blooms, harvests, carnivals and Love in India.
One can see the bright orange blooms of Tesu and Semal . yellow marigold flowers and the blooms on mango trees. The beautiful melodious song of the bird Koel ( a bird of cuckoo family ) can be heard in mango orchards. In some parts of the country Kamadev ( the God of Love or Cupid in India ) is also worshiped on this day.

Call or Song of the Koyal bird on Mango tree

The orange blooms  called Tesu or Palash  are used to make organic colours for Holi celebration

Tesu Palash Bloom


There are many legends associated with the festival Holi –
The foremost is the legend of demon King Hiranyakashyap who demanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him .He was a dictator and tyrant, but his pious son, Prahlad became a devotee of Lord Vishnu the preserver of the universe and symbol of ultimate truth holiness . Hiranyakashyap wanted his son to be killed. He asked his sister Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap as Holika had a boon which made her immune to fire.Holika challenged Prahalad that if you are true then let your true devotion save you. Story goes that Prahlad was saved by lord himself for his extreme devotion and evil minded Holika was burnt to ashes. This proved that even a boon can’t save you if you have evil in your heart.

Later the king Hiranyakashyap was also killed by the Lord Vishnu. People out of joy started smearing the ashes of the burnt holika to each other and because it was Spring Season they also threw flowers on each other to show happiness.  Since then the festival is celebrated with the full enthusiasm.

The Lord Krishna is also associated with this festival

How it is celebrated

(A).  Holika Dahan the Bonfire Night – On the night before Holi Celebration people gathered at one place and make a bonfire as the symbol of buring of the Demon princess Holika. It also symbolize the end of any grudge if one hold for anybody. People lit fire. Dance on drums bit and sing special Holi Song called “faag” which are generally based on Love colour and fun.

(B). Rang – The Day of Colours - Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky, they wear funky getups and masks. Bright colours of gulal and abeer ( powder form of colours ) fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other. Children take special delight in spraying colours on one another with their pichkaris ( Colour sprayers ) and throwing water balloons and passersby. Women and senior citizen form groups called tolis and move in colonies - applying colours and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day.

here is also a tradition of consuming the very intoxicating bhang, a kind of leaf . people grind the Bhang leaves and mix it with Thandai ( a drink made up of milk , sugar , rose petals  , Black pepper , and almonds ) to get intoxication kick.
No one on Holi can complain about being splashed by colours.
Holi is strongly associated with the Lord Krishna. It is said that he used to play a colourful Holi with his beloved Radha. Since then it is a tradition to play Holi with beloved

(C). Holi Eve – After a coulourful days. the evenings the spent in sobriety when people meet friends and relatives and exchange sweets and festive greetings.
Communities organise Poetry (comedy) recital evenings and Faag (Holi Song) nights.

(D). Holi Markets – Arrive one or two day early and roam around on Holi markets . Its wonderful to see the colour , masks and pitchkaari ( colour sprayer ) shops.

The main Places to See the grand Celebration of Holi

1. Mathura – the place of birth of the lord Krishna

2. Vrindavan – The place where the lord Krishna was brought up

3. Banaras ( Varanasi ) – The Holy city of Hindus . famous for its old tradition of Holi festival . One can enjoy Colours , sweets and Poetry recital here.

4. Barasana  ( a place 42 KM away from Mathura )– Birth place of Radha ( the beloved of lord Krishna )  - Here, men from Nandgaon, the land of Krishna come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana and hope of raising their flag over Shri Radhikaji's temple. But, instead of colours they are greeted with sticks by the gopis. Hence, the Holi get its new name here-Lathmaar Holi ( means Beat by Stick Holi ). It is a colourful site to watch. A wonderful view of Love , naughtiness , colour and culture.

5. Other important places are – Jaipur , Udaypur , Lakhanau ,Delhi, Ahmadabad . Basically whole of north India.

How to Travel

Mathura , Vrindavan , Varanasi , Barsana are quite close to Delhi.

(A) Banaras ( Varanasi ) – Has airport

(B) Mathura - The closest airport is Agra . Vrindavan and Barasana are quite close to Mathura and well connected by frequent buses and trains . one can hire cabs as well.

(C) Jaipur – Has airport . and it is close to delhi as well.

(D) Ahmadabad - Has airport 


As it is described as a Funful Funky Festival then it becomes necessary to keep some tips in mind to avoid any mood spoiler situation. Here are some tips –
1.  Make arrangements in advance where you are going ? On Holi all the shops remain closed.
2. On Holiday no matter where you are going , wear cloths which you don’t bother getting spoiled.
3. Remember any one can through colours on you.
4. Before eating any sweets and drinking any drink, do enquire if it has bhang(intoxicating leaves) or not.  Though bhang is not harmful and people drink it for fun. Avoid it if you don’t want to get drunk.
You can get sweets without bhang as well.Not every one consume bhang.
5.Be careful if you are carrying camera and mobile with you.
6. Don’t carry valuable things with you as it might get damaged and lost in fun crowd.
7. Avoid going to unknown places.
8. Avoid getting into conflicts as some people are not into their consciousness.  
9. Reach a day or two earlier and enquire about the places where you can play safe Holi and also shop for the funky getups , Masks and of course colours.
10. Put up some body and face lotions before going to play Holi.
11. Wear specs instead of contact lenses.

Playing and watching the Holi festival can be a experience of the life time. Do write to us about your experiences.

Some Important Links for further information -


For travel -

Get Flight Information

Book Tickets in Indian Railway


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