“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. 

Intrigued by the diverse Holi celebrations across India? It is quite easy to experience what Holi feels like in different states with our India Tour Packages as well as affordable flight tickets.

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

Holi celebrations
Rang Panchami celebrations in Maharashtra
Image Credit: chetansoni

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. 

Get drenched in colours and water for Holi 2023. Explore Maharashtra with our exclusive Maharashtra tour packages. Also get great deals on booking the best hotel accommodations in the state. 

2. Lathmar Holi / Foolwali Holi – Uttar Pradesh

Women beating men with lathis
Women beating men with lathis
Image Credit: CRS PHOTO

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

Holi celebrations
Sikhs celebrating Holla Mohalla in Punjab
Image Credit: Sushil Prajapati

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

Holi celebrations
Shigmo festival parade in Panjim, Goa
Image Credit: Matjoe

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

Holi celebrations
Holika Dahan at Royal Palace
Image Credit: India.com

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

Holi celebrations
Holi celebrations in Kumaon, Uttarakhand
Image Credit: APNA Uttarakhan Facebook Page

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

Also Read: Beautiful Valleys In India For Mountain Lovers To Explore

7. Manjal Kuli – Kerala

Holi celebrations
The infamous Manjal Kuli celebrations in Kerala
Image Credit: Flickr/Ashit Desai

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

Holi celebrations
Basant Utsav festivities in Shantiniketan
Image Credit: DNA India

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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