When & Where Holi Festival usually occurs 5th day after the full moon which occurs late February/March every year. This festival occurs in India and also Nepal as well as Indian diaspora the world over.
Holi or Phagwa is also known as the Hindu festival of colours. On the first day of the full moon the demoness Holika is burnt. This is also known as the lighting of Holi and bonfires blaze across India. On the second day everyone throws coloured powder and water at each other. There is method to this madness because there is medicine in the colours that helps prevent colds.
Holi Festival Colours
The traditional Holi Festival Colours are white - as you can imagine almost every Hindu in India is covered from head to toe with colours. The season Basanta is also welcomed with music, parades, bonfires and dancing. Looking to try some of the local brew ? a special punch of an intoxicant called Bhang, which is mixed in milk, to add to the celebrations.
Holi traditions around India
As with many religious festivals there are different interpretations of how to celebrate holidays, here are a few examples from around India
is one of the best places in India to celebrate Holi. Lath mar Holi is played in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple where thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks. Local spectators tease the participants with Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj Bhasha. The beatings are not too serious :)
Barsana is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh where Krishna was born (in the town of Mathura), the build-up to Holi includes Lath Mar Holi which is another festival unto itself - be sure to try Bhang, the local drink which is made from cannabis.
In some areas of Uttar Pradesh, like Vrindavan & Mathura; Holi is celebrated over 16 days
In Bihar, like many areas of Northern India, Holi is known as Phagwa in the local Bhojpuri dialect. The legend of Holika is everywhere. The night before Phalgun Poornima, people light bonfires loading dung cakes, wood of Araad or Redi tree and Holika tree, grains from the fresh harvest.
At Holika locals gather by the bonfire and the eldest member or a purohit initiates the lighting, afterwards he smears others with colour as a mark of greeting. the following day the festival is celebrated with colours and lot of frolic as the children run around the streets spraying each other with colours, water and sometimes mud. Typical Phagwa songs are sung at high pitch and people dance to the tune of dholak.
Here Sikhs celebrate a similar festival called Hola Mohalla. Holi celebration at Anandpur Sahib is famous all around India and draws people from all round the world to see how the North celebrates it.
Getting there To book a discount flight to India here.
Where to stay in India For excellent quality, budget accommodation please in India here.