Holi is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.
It is also time for spring harvest. The new crop refills the stores in every household and perhaps such abundance accounts for the riotous merriment during Holi. This also explains the other names of this celebration – ‘Vasant Mahotsava’ and ‘Kama Mahotsava’.
Young and the old smear colours on friends and dear ones. Water balloons, dry colours, and washable dyes are used to douse just about anyone in sight on the roads on the day of Holi. The vibrant use of colours symbolises the advent of a colourful and prosperous spring season.
Holi also commemorates various events in Hindu mythology, but for most Hindus it provides a temporary opportunity for Hindus to disregard social norms, indulge in merrymaking and generally “let loose.”
Unlike all the other festivals of India, Hindu Holi festival is one such festival where one can put down the social taboos and indulge in the intoxicating drinks and sweets prepared by using opium. It is a festival of romance often represented by the love-play of Radha and Krishna. Brij Holi is famous all over the world for its gaiety in spirit. Each year, young and old, men and women, all indulge themselves in the spirit of colors and for once forget the social taboos.
Places related to life of Lord Krishna are known as Braj regions. Holi rituals in Braj regions – Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon and Barsana – are the most famous one. The Lathmar Holi – the traditional Holi festivity in Barsana is world famous.
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You can celebrate Holi with flowers too. Many parts of North India like Lucknow, Pushkar, etc., indulge in this type of celebration. The fun and frolic gets tripled in this Holi with people dressed up as Krishna and Radha and ushering in spring and new life with flower petals. Songs accompanied to the beat of drums makes the atmosphere electric.
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