Holi Across India: A Mosaic of Colours and Traditions

India comes alive with the vibrant colours in the air, the exhilarating fragrance of delicious treats and the laughter of the near and dear ones every year during Holi. Holi, also known as the festival of colours, is an ancient honoured tradition that transcends boundaries, uniting people of different backgrounds and cultures in a joyous celebration. Embark on a journey with us where we discover the myriad ways Holi is celebrated across India. 

Vibrant North

Holi is a festival which is widely celebrated in northern India compared to the other states. It begins with a ritual of lighting the bonfire to symbolize the victory of good over evil. Families gather across the fire, singing folk songs and offering prayers. The following day, the streets and homes come alive with splashes of colours as revellers drench each other with water guns, balloons, and a handful of gulaal (red-coloured powder). On this day, it’s unlimited fun and camaraderie, where strangers become friends amidst the riot of colours. 

Wonderful West 

In western states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, Holi takes a distinct twist with the tradition of “Rangwan Holi”. The festivities kick off with the mischievous ritual of breaking the earthen pots filled with colour-infused water, symbolizing the playful behaviour of Lord Krishna and his companions. The air is filled with traditional tunes, and clinking of the dandiyas (wooden sticks) as people groove to the beats, adding a cultural touch to the celebrations. 

Enchanting East 

In eastern states like Bengal and Odisha, Holi is celebrated as Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima. Devotees carry the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha adorned with flowers and colours in grand processions across the city or village. They paint each other’s faces with abir (red-coloured powder) and sing devotional songs, immersing themselves in the celebration of the love of Radha-Krishna. In Assam, Holi is celebrated as “Phaguwa”, where people light earthen lamps and offer prayers to the Hindu god of love, Kamadeva. 

Spectacular South 

While Holi is not as widely celebrated in South India, it finds expression in unique customs and rituals. In Karnataka, the festival is known as Kamana Habba, where people worship Kamadeva and Rati, the Hindu god and goddess of love. Holi is celebrated as “Panguni Uthiram” in Tamil Nadu, where Hindu devotees take part in large processions and rituals at the temple, showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage. 

As we explore the various regions of India, we witness the vibrancy and enthusiastic celebrations of the Holi festival. Each region has its distinct colour, tradition, and cultural significance, yet Holi serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry of India’s heritage, in a shared celebration of joy and togetherness. So, this Holi let’s embrace the spirit of Holi and revel in the simple pleasures of life with splashing water and colours safely with friends and family. 

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