9 Different Ways The Festival Of Holi Is Celebrated Across India

| March 2 , 2018 , 16:22 IST

Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is celebrated across the country with the same enthusiasm and joy. However, each region has its own flavor and variations to it. Different states have a different way of celebrating it according to their own cultural traditions. Let's have a look at the different parts of the country and see how it is celebrated across India.

Rang Panchami – Maharashtra

Maharashtra celebrates Holi in the most exciting way possible. The Festival in Maharashtra lasts for five to seven days, the play of colour happens on the fifth day and it called Rangpanchmi. One of the main attractions of the festival is the sport of pot breaking. The sport has its roots since the time of Lord Krishna. A group of young men form a huge human pyramid and try to break a pot which contains butter or buttermilk and money hung several feet high on the street. The women folk in turn keep splashing water on them in an attempt to restrict their access.

Lathmar Holi – Uttar Pradesh

It is a unique and fun way to celebrate Holi. In Barsana, Mathura and Vrindavan regions, women chase men and beat them up with lathis (sticks) as a part of the tradition. Hence it is called the Lathmar Holi.

The tradition dates back when Lord Krishna came to meet his beloved Radha and mischievously teased her and her friends. To take revenge, the women of the village chased him away with lathis. To keep the tradition alive, every year men from Nandgaon visit Barsana to be welcomed by sticks. Women chase them with sticks and men try to escape, however, few get captured who are then taken to entertain women. These men are made to wear female clothes and dance in public.

Hola Mohalla – Punjab

Celebrated by Nihang Sikhs a day after the Holi festival, Hola Mohalla is a unique style of celebration started by Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh in 1701. Also known as Warrior Holi, the day is celebrated by exhibiting martial arts, kushti, reciting poems and followed by the usual colour Holi in the evening. The guru started the tradition of mock battles and poetry contests and since then it spread from Anandpur Sahib to Kiratpur Sahib.

Kumaoni Holi –  Uttarakhand

Kumaoni Holi is celebrated in the Kumaon village of Uttarakhand. It is celebrated with musical performances at local community centres and the songs are based on the life of Lord Krishna. The songs are sung with classical instruments, tabla and harmonium. Men sport traditional attire and sing and dance on Holi songs to the tunes of Dhol and Hurka.

Shigmo – Goa

The festival is celebrated by organising parades and traditional folk and street dances. Boats are made decorated with religious and regional mythology themes. Shigmo is celebrated as a carnival of folk songs and dance. It has two forms of celebration: Dhakto Shigmo is celebrated by rural population, farmers and laboue class and while Vhadlo Shigmo is celebrated by everyone else.

Royal Holi – Udaipur

The name itself depicts the way of celebration in the city of kingdoms. The Royal Holi celebration by the Mewar’s royal family is picturesque. The current custodian of the Mewar dynasty lights the Holi bonfire. It is followed by the colourful and fancy procession that consists of horses and royal bands.

Dol Jatra – Bengal

Bengal celebrates Holi in a religious way as a tribute to Lord Krishna, celebrated as Dol Jatra, the eternal romance of Radha and Krishna. On this special occasion, women dress up in vibrant yellow colour. In Shantiniketan, Bolpur, people gather and witness the rich art and culture of Bengal. Dol Jatra is the ritualistic festival of swings. Idols of Krishna and Radha are placed on the swings and worshipped. Smeared in abir (colours), people also take on the swings and have a jolly good time with their friends and family.

Yaosang –Manipur

The five-day celebration called ‘Yawol Shang’ is the biggest and colourful festival of Manipur. The festival is a tribute to Manipur god ‘Pakhangba’. The festival begins after the sunset with the burning of hut tradition called ‘Yaosang Mei Thaba’ and is followed by children visiting every home to seek monetary donation called ‘nakatheng’. On the second day, a performance of local bands is organised in temples. On the second and third day, girls seek a monetary donation from friends and relatives, while the last two-days are celebrated with colours and water.

Manjul Kuli – Kerala

Known as Manjul Kuli, Holi celebration in Kerala is a peaceful one. It is celebrated around the Konkani temple, Gosripuram Thirumala temple. On the first-day people visit the temple, while on the second-day people spray coloured water containing turmeric on each other and dance on traditional folk songs.