Holi Festival of Colors India

 

The Holi festival is a celebration of the victory of good over evil, the destruction of the demoness Holika. It is celebrated every year on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna which is early March. People celebrate the start of spring and other events in the Hindu religion; they march the streets and spray people with colored powders while dancing and singing.

 

Although it is a Hindu festival, it is popular among non-Hindus. People gather the night before Holi and perform religious rituals and then pray for the destruction of their internal evil. The next morning people start the real carnival traditions and smear each other with colored powders; they sometimes use water guns and water-filled balloons for more fun. Groups of people march the streets with drums and other instruments, singing and dancing. People also gather with their families and friends to color each other and share Holi delicacies.

The Holi festival is celebrated all over India since ancient times. Originally, the festival was an agricultural festival, celebrating the arrival of spring. It represents throwing off the gloom of winter and enjoying the liveliness of spring. The legend associated with the festival involves an evil king called Hiranyakashipu. He forbade his son from worshipping Vishnu. However, Radhu proceeded offering prayers to the gods. Hiranyakashipu challenged Prahlad to sit on a pyre with his aunt Holika who was to be immune to fire. When the fire started, Holika was burnt to death whereas Prahlad survived without a scar. Burning Holika is celebrated as Holi.

The Holi festival is celebrated across whole India with different traditions in each region. Generally, the celebration of Holi in North India, in the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, is more vivid than in Southern part of India, which focuses on religion and temple rituals. The Holi celebration is witnessed in every nook of these cities. In Delhi, on the morning of the festival, people usher in a huge carnival; young and old people, men and women, go out to streets and smear colored powders and water at each other while singing and dancing, saying Holi hai (It is Holi). The best region to celebrate Holi is in the residential neighborhoods in South Delhi. The Holi Cow Festival, known as Holi Moo Festival, is popular modern-day Holi celebration. It is a carnival of non-toxic colors, street food, thandai (a yogurt drink with spices), dance and music

In Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, the celebration of the festival is nothing special. However, the Elephant Festival is what makes it exceptional. The Elephant Festival is celebrated every year on the eve of the Holi festival, featuring elephant beauty contests, elephant polo and elephant dance. It starts with a traditional procession of elephants, beautifully decorated with glittering ornaments and embroidered velvets. However, the Elephant Festival was cancelled in 2012, due to protest from animal rights groups. As an alternative, Rajasthan Tourism organizes an event for visitors on the lawns of Khasa Kothi Hotel. It features local Rajasthani folk music and colored powders, but with no elephants.

In Agra, the festival is celebrated in the same way as it is celebrated in neighboring places such as Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana. In Vrindavan and Barsana, the festival is celebrated with special puja and traditional celebrations to worship Lord Krishna. The celebrations include a tradition called Matki Phod, which means breaking of the pot. A pottery pot is filled with buttermilk or other diaries is hung in the street. Then a group of boys and men form a human pyramid, balancing on each other’s backs and shoulders to reach the pot and break it with the head of the one at the top of the pyramid. Girls and women surround them, sing songs and throw colored water to distract them and make it harder. In Barsana, people celebrate Lath Mar Holi in the Radha Rani temple. Women beat men with sticks where men protect themselves with shields.

Other regions across India celebrate Holi Festival as well. Udaipur celebrates in the most luxurious setting. There will be an elaborate procession of royal band and decorated horses, from royal residence to Manek Chowk at the iconic City Palace. Later, people lit the fire and burn a Holika statue. It features folk dances, drums, singing, cocktails and dinner. In Pushkar, in Rajasthan, Holi starts in the eve of Holi with a big bonfire, where local men gather around a bonfire, throw garlands and wooden branches. When the flame dies out, everyone takes pieces of burnt embers to their home as a symbol of good luck. The color festival start in the morning of the Holi.

 

Moreover, in Varanasi, the holy city of India, people celebrate with much enthusiasm. The day before Holi, people light a bonfire and throw wood into the fire and throw the paste called ubtan after rubbing their bodies, as it is believed that the practice keep them in health for the rest of the year. In the day of Holi, people play with colors until afternoon, but some people play with mud instead. In Mumbai, Holi festival is major. Mumbai has the same tradition of Agra’s Vrindavan and Barsana, where they hang a pot of buttermilk, and then men form a human pyramid to break the pot. Who breaks it is called Holi king of the year.

    Suggested Tours
    Why Choose Us
    • Travel Experience Since 1955

      Memphis Tours is one of the pioneers which have great impact on travel industry for more than 55 years of experience.

    • Personalized Travel Services

      Whatever your travel dreams, together we can custom-design the perfect itinerary with highly personalized services just for you

    • We Speak Your Language

      A multilingual website offers content in 8 different languages English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese

    • Flexibility to Change

      We know how important it is for travellers to have the flexibility to change their itinerary due to some reasons or force majeure

    • Your Safety and Security

      A professional will accompany the guests to all of the places; they will never be left alone to fend for themselves

    • High Quality Service

      We do believe honestly that quality should come first and quantity would come later and our main objective focused on (Quality is our Top Priority)

    • Customer Service 24/7

      We offer Customer Support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone and email for questions about our tours and services

    • Support Sustainable Tourism

      We are attempting to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people

    • Secure Online Payment

      Our website is protected by the world′s most secure online payment system VeriSign Secure

    • Secure Website by MacAfee

      Memphis Tours website is a McAfee Secure site that helps keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud and spyware