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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Holi Hai...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of the myriad colorful festivals that India celebrates – “Holi” is the one that personifies iridescence – literally.  It is characterized by the very popular play of colors
The festival gives people a chance to paint the town colourful and envelope it in good cheer. People take immense pleasure in daubing paint on each other’s faces to the extent that they become unrecognizable.

This ritual finds its root way back in the era of the Hindu God – Krishna. It is said that Lord Krishna often complained to his mother about the Radha’s fair complexion against His darker tone. To pacify the crying young Krishna, the doting mother asked him to go and colour Radha's face.In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna smeared Radha's face with colour.

As this tradition is native to Mathura, (also the birthplace of Lord Krishna)it is the most happening place at this time of the year . Here the celebrations continue for over a week as each major Krishna temple celebrates Holi on a different day.

Of immense interest for the tourist is the celebrations which take place at the famous Bakai-Bihari Temple at Vrindavan. Drenched in the colours of Holi people can be found totally immersed in the spirit of devotion here.

Of course each state of India celebrates the festival with equal vigour & follows its respective traditions.
However, Being a Gujarati I’m biased to the HOLI celebration in Gujarat- where it assumes a higher degree of joy and celebration.
On the eve of Holi, a bonfire decorated with flowers and fruits is lit with a fire brought from the temple of Mata. People offer raw mangoes, coconut, toys made of sugar, khoya to the 'Holika' as referred t o in myhtology.

The next day, The state wakes up to the chants of 'Govinda ala re'. This day, called Dhuleti, is reserved for the play of colours.
In addition to this, the state is famous for the tradition of breaking earthen pot full of buttermilk and tied high on a rope. A human pyramid is formed in order to reach the pot.

During the whole of this day the famous holi drink –thandai or  “bhang” as it is called in Gujarat & “malpuas” – a traditional gujarati delicacy is supplied in copious amounts.
Holi in itself carries a very important social message - The color and water is symbolic of washing away all the man made distinctions based on caste, creed, and other differences created by the society. Holi in India is one of the most socially connecting and enjoyable festivals.
Here’s wishing all of you a brightly hued HOLI!!!! 
Happy Holi.
Rikta Doshi

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