This Is How Holi Is Celebrated in Different Parts of India

March 21, 2016 — by Team PeppyStory


Holi is the festival of colours and is celebrated on a full moon day during the Hindu month of Phalgun. It is a festival of colours and fun and there is a reason behind it. As the legend suggests, Holika, the sister of then Multan king, Hiranyakashyup, on the command of her brother tried to kill his son, Prahlad. Hiranyakashyup was a powerful king who considered himself to be the God of all. He forced all his subjects to worship him including his own son who was a devotee of Lord Krishna. His father subjected the little boy to various punishments but the little boy never deviated from the righteous path.


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As an end resort, Hiranyakashiyup asked his sister, Holika to use her cloth that protected her from fire and sit with Prahlad on a pyre which will burn him. When it happened, it was Prahlad who got saved and Holika got burned. This was considered a victory of good over evil. The next day, people put the ashes of Holika on their foreheads as a sign of victory of the little boy.

In the present day, colours have taken up the place of those ashes. Here are the other ways how Holi is celebrated in different parts of India.

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#1. North India


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Since Lord Krishna was an avatar of Lord Vishnu, the people of his hometown, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, celebrate this festival with extra gaiety. The entire northern India get into the festive mood around a week before Holi. Water balloons, gulaal and pichkaris can be seen peeking from every gallery.


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In Uttar Pradesh, effigies of Holika are burnt a day before Holi. In Braj and in Barsana, people indulge in ‘Lath Maar’ Holi where women have fun beating men with sticks!


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In Haryana, boys gather up and make a human pyramid to break the earthen pot full of buttermilk that hangs at a great height.


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In Punjab, a ritual called Hola Mohalla was initiated by the Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh where Holi is celebrated by demonstrating physical agility by indulging in martial arts.

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#2. East India


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The people of East India have their own unique ways of celebrating every festival.

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In West Bengal, they celebrate Holi as Dol Yatra or the swing festival. They wear yellow clothes to celebrate the birth of their Mahaprabhu Chaitanya. Here the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha are placed on beautifully decorated swings and devotees take turns to swing them. They also sing and dance around the idols.


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Purulia is a rural area near Bengal where you can enjoy the three days long festivities with the locals. Their ways are very different. Their style of playing Holi incorporates local dance style.


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The traditions of people of Orissa with reference to celebrating this colourful festival is quite close to that of Bengal. The people here welcome the spring season, but instead of the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha, they worship a different avatar of Lord Krishna which is Lord Jagannath.

The Gwalas carry the beautifully decorated palanquin to take out the procession.


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Holi is celebrated for good six days in Manipur where they celebrate Yaosang as well. Here, boys have to pay the girls to play Holi with them. Holi here is a sight to behold; so culturally dense.

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#3. West India


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Lord Krishna’s character has always been depicted as a mischievous one. He is known for stealing butter and milk from the pots.


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So, in Gujarat, all the men drenched in water and colours take out a procession where they catcall and warn all the ladies to guard their pots as Krishna while soon come to steal butter and milk from them. The tradition of breaking the buttermilk pot which is famous in Haryana is practiced here as well. The tradition of making gujjiyas originated here.


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In Maharashtra, the fishermen’s community celebrate Shimga/Rangpanchami on Holi and inculcate their folk dance, songs and activities in the celebration.


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In Goa, processions playing mythological stories start taking rounds performing naman from the ninth moon day to the full moon day. They avoid non-veg and alcohol during this time and decorate their house doors with toran.

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#4. South India


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In South India, Holi is called by many names like Kaman Pandigai, Kamavilas and Kama-Dahanam. People sing melancholic folklores during this time to narrate the story of Kama Deva’s wife, Rati. It celebrates the victory of spiritual bliss over marital bliss, hence, making the festival a love festival. It is basically celebrated to help relieve Kama Deva’s burns.

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Holi is not just a festival of colours, but it also celebrate the victory of good over evil. No matter how it is celebrated, it signifies the killing of the evil. Not only in India, but people from all around the world come together to celebrate this merry festival. We hope that you will have fun too.