“O rang barse bheege chunarwali rang barse,
O rang barse bheege chunarwali rang barse”
Whenever we speak of the Holi festival, think of the air filled with a riot of colours, water balloons hitting one from all sides and music blasting everywhere. This festival of colours holds a lot of significance for Indians. Even the types of Holi celebrations, origin stories, etc. also differ from state to state.
What is the Holi Festival? When is Holi?
One popular legend is of how Lord Vishnu protects his devotee Pralhad from his evil father Hiranyakashyap and aunt Holika. Holika burned in the fire leading to the ‘Holika Dahan’ celebrations. Another story is that of Lord Krishna and Radha. Krishna smeared the colour on Radha’s face to make them match complexions. This leads us to the Holi celebrations of ‘Rang Holi’.
Holi is typically observed on the full moon in Phalgun month. This time period marks the end of winters and indicates the beginning of the spring season. This year, Holika Dahan and Rang Holi will fall on 6th March and 7th March 2023 respectively.
Types of Holi Celebrations across different states of India:
1. Rang Panchami – Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, the Holika Dahan pyre burns in almost every street and locality. Colour and water celebrations start once the pyre extinguishes and carries on for the next day. Celebrations also include singing and dancing on dhols, feasting on traditional sweets and savoury items, etc.
2. Lathmar Holi / Foolwali Holi – Uttar Pradesh
The Barsana region of Vrindavan, Mathura, Nandgaon and Barsana are the hotspots of Holi celebrations in India. Barsana not only celebrates the Holi festival with colours but also lathis. It’s a sight to see women chase away men with lathis.
In Vrindavan, Holi celebrations include flowers rather than colours, especially in the Banke Bihari Temple, where priests shower the devotees with flowers. These traditional experiences draw people from all over the world.
One can have the most authentic Holi experience with our Uttar Pradesh Tour Packages.
3. Holla Mohalla – Punjab
In Punjab, the Holi celebrations are a bit unique and especially lauds the warrior Sikhs. The festivities go on for 3 days and includes a display of martial arts, horse riding, reciting poetry, etc.
Explore this style of celebrating the Holi festival in Punjab. Plan your trip easily with our Punjab Tour Packages and discounts on flight ticket prices.
4. Shigmo – Goa
The festival of colours is also celebrated with a massive carnival. It includes traditional folk songs and street dances in the coastal state of Goa. The rural population, like farmers and labourers, especially celebrate Shigmo. Fishermen also deck their boats with religious and mythological themes.
Take a trip to India’s favourite holiday destination in time for the Holi celebrations with our exclusive Goa Tour packages.
5. Royal Holi – Udaipur
Holika Dahan’s pyres are lit up across the city to get rid of evil spirits. However, the city takes it up a notch by adding some royal touch. At the royal resilience, the Holika pyre is lit by the current Mewar royal family custodian. This is followed by a lavish procession of decorated horses and the royal band.
The next day is followed by smearing colour and splashing water on friends and families.
The Holi festival period is the best to explore Rajasthan as the weather is not too cold or too hot yet. Check our Rajasthan Tour Packages along with budget stay options in all major cities like Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, etc.
6. Kumaoni Holi – Uttarakhand
In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, the Holi celebrations are more like honouring the beginning of the sowing season. Celebrations here include a musical gala. One gets to see 3 types of Holi celebrations:
- Baithaki Holi where locals sing songs and showcase musical performances with traditional musical instruments.
- For Khadi Holi, men wear traditional garbs while singing and dancing to Holi songs played on dhols and hurkas.
- Mahila Holi is nothing but celebrations especially arranged for women to enjoy.
Along with the fun and frolic of Holi, you also get to relax in some of the finest valleys of Uttarakhand with our Uttarakhand Tour Packages.
7. Manjal Kuli – Kerala
A far less population of South India celebrates Holi compared to North India. The Kudumbi and Konkani communities of Kerala celebrate this festival with distinct traditions at the Konkani Temple of Gorsipuram Thirumala. Instead of gulaal, turmeric is used more prominently here.
If you have already experienced the Holi celebrations of North India, it’s time to head down south this year with our Kerala Tour Packages. Start planning your trip with cheap flights to Kerala.
8. Basant Utsav and Dol Jatra – West Bengal
For Basant Utsav, girls and boys get ready in yellow traditional outfits. All gather at Shantiniketan where they sing and dance in festive joy. For the Dol Jatra, idols of Radha and Krishna are taken out for a procession in the streets. In the procession devotees sing, smear colour and splash water on each other.
Witness the sweetest Holi celebrations as you explore the streets and culture of Bengal with our West Bengal Tour Packages.
These are some of the states across India that celebrate Holi with some unique and vibrant traditions. Apart from the ones mentioned above you also have ‘Dhuleti’ in Gujarat, ‘Yaosang’ in Manipur, ‘Phaguwa’ in Bihar and ‘Phakuwah’ in Assam.
The diversity of our country gives one the best chances to explore various celebrations of one festival. So, anytime you decide upon an Indian holiday, you might have some or the other festival waiting around the corner for you to enjoy.
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