Rang Barse! Holi hai! Buckle up because Holi is around the corner, celebrated in different states of India. India gears up with colours and fun every year during this time to celebrate Holi. Nothing can get better than the soothing weather of Spring with the smell of flowers in the rangoli colours. From small children to elderly people in the family, every person of every age group comes alive during this festival of colours. However, every other state has their own variant of celebrating this beautiful traditional festival. Read on to get a touch of Holi in your soul knowing how is Holi in different states of India!
This Blog Includes:
Origins of Holi
This festival is originally a celebration of good over evil. As it goes by Hindu traditional manuscripts, Holi is a celebration of the reincarnations of Vishnu and his fight against evil. In some states of India, there has been a culture of burning large pyres of fire to celebrate Vishnu killing Holika to save Prahlada, his dedicated worshipper. Again, in some states, it is the celebration of Krishna colouring Radha, his beloved, with natural colours to remove the insecurity of race. Thus, in a beautiful way, it can be said that Holi removes social barriers between humans. What can be a better celebration for the world that is getting educated to fight the evils of society?
Holi In Different States Of India
This kaleidoscopic celebration called Holi finds its way into the hearts of all states of India and touches all religions. Every region has its own name for this festival though nationally it is marked as Holi. We will describe below how different states celebrate this auspicious tradition in the most amazing ways!
Uttar Pradesh: Lathmar Holi
The deity Krishna used to barge into the village of Radha, Barsana, every Holi and create an enjoyable ruckus with his friends. The women used to attack these pranksters with sticks called lathis, to scare them away. Krishna and his friends used to keep smearing the ladies with colours and making fun in the most beautiful way. Thus, by tradition, the villagers of Nandgaon visit Barsana to keep the tradition alive. The women come out with lathis to scare them away in the mood of fun and frolic while the men throw water and colours at them. Today, the ruckus is even bigger when the men also throw mud and water balloons to keep heightening the fun. There is also a host of other activities like music, dance and traditional food.
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Haryana: Dhulandi Holi
Krishna and Radha’s bond was very different from the general relations that we see today. Krishna loved Radha but was not her husband. She was a sister-in-law to Krishna but their bond was eternally made in heaven. Thus, to celebrate this beautiful bond between the sisters-in-law and the brothers-in-law, Dhulandi Holi is played in Haryana. They celebrate the notorious pranks that a brother-in-law might play on the sister-in-law. While it is fun, it also engages the family members in a mood that is very healthy for the growth of the families. It brings colours, fun and frolic into their lives and fills in relationships with a kaleidoscope of emotions and love.
Vrindavan: Phoolon Ki Holi
The traditional Indian calendar marks Holi on the full moon day of Phalguna month. However, in Vrindavan, by the traditional tithi, the inhabitants play Holi on the 11th day after the full moon called Ekadashi. They play with flowers and fragrances creating a host of natural colours in the scene. Lord Krishna used different concepts of colours while playing Holi with Radha. This was carried into the tradition and is followed in Vrindavan to date. The hidden meaning of this regional flavour of Holi is a belief that every human has God inside of them. Thus, flowers not only represent colours but also a sign of respect and love that humans shower on other humans. This makes the festival celebrations in Vrindavan even more beautiful and auspicious.
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Maharashtra: Rang Panchami
Here lies another beautiful Krishna exquisiteness in the celebrations of Holi in a different state of India. Lord Krishna used to steal butter and other dairy products from everyone’s house and escape when he found people approaching. A very sweet recall of those times is incorporated into the Holi scenes of Maharashtra Rang Panchami. The people of this state celebrate Holi or Rang Panchami on the 5th day preceding Phalgun Purnima. The smaller regions of the state set up matkas with kheer, ghee or other dairy products high up for the men to scale up and break them to get the eatables. Boys form human pyramids smeared in colours to get to the matkas. Females cheer them from around with hooting and music.
Jaipur: Royal Holi
Jaipur breaks the tradition of Lord Krishna and embezzles people with the joy of playing Holi with the Royals. The city is also known as Pink City. Irrespective of that, during Holi, the inhabitants enjoy smearing each other with myriad colours. They celebrate the festival with a lot of spirit foods and sweets. The Royals match up with the locals with colours and enjoy as a commoner. This sets the family apart from the royalty and instead gives them a huge place in the hearts of the people. There is a huge footfall of people from outside the city which makes the event even more auspicious.
West Bengal: Basant Panchami
Holi has a special flavour in West Bengal that is home to a host of writers and scholars. However, Shantiniketan has set a benchmark celebration style due to the contributions of the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Bengal has its traditional Rabindra sangeet on which the people dance and smear each other with colours and flowers imbibing cultures from around the country. People create memories and respectful bonds with strangers during this celebration and get going to the beats of the season. The second day of the celebration is the grand worship of Lord Basanti because of which the festival is called Basant Panchami.
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Bihar: Phalgun Purnima
Bihar enjoys the festival by celebrating the fertility of Mother Earth. The state being primarily agriculture-based, the inhabitants dance to the beats of folk music while smearing each other with colours. They also use mud to mark the roots of our existence. However, Mithila brings the tale of Prahlad into the celebrations. Thus, in some places, Holika pyres are set to fire during of Phalgun Purnima’s eve and the people make bhang for intoxication. This pure form of celebration is enjoyed by every member of the society with songs, dance, laughter and joy marking the essence of the seasonal festival.
Tamil Nadu: Kaman Pandigai
The inhabitants of this state celebrate the revival of Lord Kaamdev who brought Parvati into Lord Shiva’s life by sacrificing his own. The tale goes that Lord Kaamdev wanted to gift love to Lord Shiva for Parvati while he was meditating in the woods. The arrow of the Lord of Love distracted Shiva and enraged him because of which he burnt him down to ashes. This made Rati, Lord Kaamdev’s wife angry. However, on this day, Lord Shiva brought back life to the God of Love. Thus, the inhabitants sing songs depicting Rati’s rage and offer sandalwood to Lord Kaamdev, unlike the whole of the country.
A. The various states of India celebrate various shades of Holi merged in various religious and traditional contexts. Based on the same, these are the different types of Holi in different states of India.
Lathmar Holi in Uttar Pradesh.
Dhulandi Holi in Haryana.
Royal Holi in Jaipur.
Basant Utsav in West Bengal.
Hola Mohalla in Anandpur, Punja.
Phalgun Purnima in Bihar.
Phoolon Ki Holi in Vrindavan.
Rangpanchami in Maharashtra.
A. Northern and Western India is largely under the influence of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. Thus, the celebrations start with burning the Holika wood pyre and then the general fun activities of smearing each other with colours start. Children and younger kids game up with modern pichkaris and water-based colour solutions to attack even strangers.
A. Holi is hugely traditional and culture based. For most of India, it is based on the lovely tales of Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu. The South has Lord Kaamdev while West Bengal celebrates Mata Basanti.
These are holi in different states of India. The variation of the reasons for the celebration depicts the concept of unity in diversity. This is because, all the different states celebrate good over evil with their own perceptions of joy, fun and frolic. It is the diversity of the country and its people that is making Indians so revered outside the country.
However, Indians do play Holi outside the country with organic and eco-friendly colours! It is more hygienic and paints healthier memories. If you want to read more interesting blogs, follow our study abroad page by the name of Leverage Edu.