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Festival of Colours  -  Holi 🥳🎉

Holi, a traditional Hindu festival, celebrates the beginning of spring, in line with the Hindu luni-solar calendar, so the dates vary year on year but typically fall in March. It is a celebration of fertility, colour and love, as well as the triumph of good over evil. Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is the most vibrant of all.

The colourful festival of Holi spans over two days. On the first day, known as day of “Holika Dahan”, fire is lit marking the victory of truth over evil. The second day is “Phag”, when the actual Holi is celebrated with vibrant colours and water. The festival bridges gap between people of different communities and age groups. Holi Traditions in India :

1. Krishna Leela at Mathura and Vrindavan Holi has a special significance in the cities of Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan, the place where he was raised. Here, unlike the rest of the country, Holi is associated with this supreme deity and his many legends. People in these cities believe that the festival was initiated by Lord Krishna and consequently the various temples dedicated to this deity celebrate the festival, each on a different day. The well-known Krishna Leela or Raas Leela, the dramatization of  Krishna courting the beautiful Radha, his paramour, are played out and people throw buckets full of flowers and dry colours on one another amidst loud chants of "Radhe Radhe".

2. Lath Maar Holi in Barsane Barsane is a small town about 50 kilometres north of Mathura and also associated with Lord Krishna. Here, the festival of Holi is celebrated in a very unique fashion. Referred to as the lath maar Holi, for the use of a lath or bamboo stick by the women, the act of colouring one another takes on a very coquettish form here with men rushing towards women to drench them in coloured water and women staving their efforts with the use of these handy laths.

3. Elephant Festival and Holi in Jaipur Holi in Rajasthan’s capital is a majestic affair with the popular Elephant Festival, which takes place a day before Holi. On this day, caparisoned elephants are led in a magnificent procession through the streets of Jaipur and are later involved in various entertaining activities including elephant polo, elephant races and a tug of war. The festivities end with the playing of colours and a fireworks display. The festival is a huge draw for tourists to the city.

4. Tribal celebrations in Banswara Banswara, a small town near Udaipur in Rajasthan, is a tribal stronghold and an erstwhile princely state. The Holi celebrations here are a unique display of the culture and traditions of the Bhil tribe. On this day the Bhils, dressed in all their festive finery, perform the beautiful Ghair traditional dance around a huge bonfire.

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.

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