Holi, or ‘Basanth Utsav’, a festival of colors in India, is celebrated every year at the end of winter on the full moon day (Poornima) of the lunar month (Phalguna). It usually appears in the months of February or March. Everyone comes together to drown all differences in the mist of colors. As per the legend, it celebrates the saving of Prahlad and burning of his wicked aunt Holika.
On this day, kids and adults splash coloured powder called ‘gulal’. They sing and dance fervently. Balloons filled with coloured water are thrown at each other and is considered part and parcel of festivity.
Across India, this festival is celebrated in different ways.
Punjab – The Holi Festival is celebrated as Hola Mohalla, on the day after Holi. Nihang Sikhs, a martial sect among Sikhs, display their martial arts’ skills in an exhibition of their prowess in various skills like horse riding, sword fighting, tent pegging, archery etc. Mock battles are held to display their fighting skills.
-The Holy Duels of Hola Mohalla
Madhya Pradesh– the Holi Festival coincides with the unique tradition, the only one to be held, in the districts of Nimar and Jhabua, in the country. This is the traditional Bhagoria Haat Festival. ‘Haat’ means market and Bhagoria means to run away. This is a traditional festival in the Bhil tribes of these districts.
It is basically a marriage market where young boys and girls flock, select their partners and run away together only to come home some days later. They are then proclaimed husband and wife by the community elders. It is a very lively and colourful festival and is worth a visit.
Bhagoria – Festival of love
Barsana, UP– If you are in UP, India, then participate in the traditional Indian festival of Holi and the unique way it is practiced at Barsana, the birthplace of Radha, Lord Krishna’s favourite gopi – Lathmar Holi. Women beat up men with sticks in Lathmar Holi in Barsana, India.
So, if you are in India do visit these 3 places during Holi.
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