COMPLETE GUIDE ON HOLI


Holi, the festival of colors is one of the best festivals across the world. And is celebrated across India in several ways but with the same spirit. In this blog, we will be sharing a complete guide on Holi.

Gulaal | COMPLETE GUIDE ON HOLI
Gulaal in Hands

KNOW THE CONTENTS OF THIS GUIDE

WHAT IS HOLI ?
FACTS ABOUT HOLI
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOLI CELEBRATIONS
DO’s & DONT’s OF HOLI
HOW TO GET READY FOR HOLI

WHAT IS HOLI?

Holi, the festival of colors, is a Hindu festival celebrated across India and Nepal. It is usually celebrated in the month of March, but the date is variable depending on the Hindu Calendar.

Holi celebration marks the end of winter season and start of the spring season, also known as Phalgun in Hindi. The first day is celebrated as Thanksgiving for good harvest and burning of Holika, a demon in Hindu mythology. And the next day is celebrated with full of colors and water.

Pink-Blast-by-Soumya-Bandyopadhyay

Holi helps in breaking of social norms in Indians; gaps between age, gender, and their status. Together, men and women, the rich and the poor, old and the young celebrate this festival with joy leaving the past behind.

FACTS ABOUT HOLI

  • Holi celebration is associated with different stories, one of them was of Lord Krishna, where because of his dark skin tone he was skeptical to share his feeling of love with Radha and other Gopika. But, then his mother Rukmani, asked him to wear any color of his choice and share his feelings with beautiful Radha. So since that day, Holi marks the day of expression of love.
  • Holi is that festival when people forget all the bad deeds and forgive each other to prosper in the coming time. There is a common slang in India which people use on Holi. “BURA NA MANO, HOLI HAI” which means don’t have hard feelings anymore, it’s Holi today.
  • The festival of Holi is celebrated for at least 15-16 days in the Brij region of India where Krishna was born.
  • The first day is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the second as Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi or Dhulivandan.
  • Across India, Holi celebrations are different from one another. However, the spirit of celebration is the same which celebrates the victory of good over evil.
  • People get high on a drink made from the cannabis leaves called Bhang. They make Thandai, sweets from this and share it among the friends to enjoy the festival in good spirits.
  • After Diwali, Holi is the second biggest festival of India and is celebrated across all the states of India and Nepal. It is even popular among tourists as this is celebrated at the time when India receives a lot of tourists.
  • Holi is celebrated with typical colors called Gulaal made from flower petals which are very natural and has very good fragrance as well. But nowadays, a lot of synthetic colors are also being sold in the market which looks very identical to the natural colors but can harm your skin and hair.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOLI CELEBRATIONS

Different states in India celebrate this festival of colours, Holi in various ways.

LATHMAR HOLI IN UTTAR PRADESH

Lathmar literally means hitting by a stick. Especially in Mathura, where Lord Krishna was born and nearby regions. Holi is celebrated by women from the families hitting their husbands and sons. And these men protect themselves with a shield like objects. All this is done in a fun way and not to harm anyone physically or mentally.

Lathmar Holi Celebration | COMPLETE GUIDE: FESTIVAL OF COLORS HOLI
Lathmar Holi, Photo by Wikipedia

SHIGMAO HOLI IN GOA

It’s the spring festival celebrated in Goa. The highlights of the festival include some folk dances, some street dances, and colorful processions. It is also known as Shigmotsav.

BAITHAKI HOLI OR KHADI HOLI IN UTTARAKHAND

Sitting Holi or Standing Holi, this is the literal translation of these Hindi words. People from Region Kumaon, Uttarakhand celebrates Holi in this way. It not only signifies the celebration of the victory of good over evil but also for the good harvest.
It’s a perfect mixture of the cultural traditions of North India and the local traditions of Kumaon.

RANG PANCHMI OR SHIMGA IN MAHARASTRA

People of this western state, mainly fisherman of Maharashtra celebrate this festival for 5 days. Fifth day being the day of celebration with colors and joy. They celebrate it in on a large scale and revel in the festivities by singing, dancing and enjoying festive delicacies.

HOLA MOHALLA IN PUNJAB

This is a three day festival celebrated by the Sikh community during the same spring month. This festival is celebrated in order to pay homage and celebrate the bravery of Sikh warriors.

The word Hola Mohalla means ‘the charge of an army’. It is celebrated by showcasing martial arts, or warfare along with some Punjabi folk dance and music.

BASANT UTSAV OR DOL JATRA IN WEST BENGAL

Basant utsav| COMPLETE GUIDE: FESTIVAL OF COLORS HOLI
Basant Utsav, photo by telegraph India

Holi in West Bengal is celebrated as Basant Utsav and Dol Jatra. ‘Basant’ to spring and ‘Utsav’ is the festival, so it is a mark of the onset of spring. On this day women primarily dress in the yellow color which signifies the color of exuberance. The best place to catch a glimpse of the Basant Utsav would be Shantiniketan in Bolpur, the main region with Bengali cultural richness.

DO’s & DONT’s OF HOLI

DO’s

  • Use only natural and eco-friendly colors to play Holi. Playing responsibly without harming the environment and our body is very important.
  • Drink Responsibly. You can easily get carried away on the day of Holi because you are with your friends and are in a very relaxed mood. But too much alcohol or bhang can be dangerous for you.
  • Forgive and patch up with your friends with whom you haven’t spoken for a long time. After all, Holi is all about bringing people closer.
  • Go visit your family and friends. If you live away from your family due to your work priorities. And you have not visited your family in a long time. Take Holi as that time out and spend a few days celebrating Holi with your family and friends from your hometown.
  • Use water wisely. Water is really precious for us. If you really want to play Holi using water, try to use Pichkaris or water guns and not buckets of water.

DONT’s

Don't Color Animals on Holi | Complete guide on Holi
Don’t color street animals and pets, photo by punjabtribune.com
  • Don’t Drive recklessly. Just because it’s Holi, don’t take your life or other people’s life for granted. And very importantly do not drink and drive.
  • Don’t play Holi with your pets and street animals. Unlike us, they don’t know how to clean themselves after the festival is over and they can suffer because of this.
  • Respect people and their choice to play or not to play. Do not force anyone to play Holi and color them without their permission. For you, that might be fun but for them, it could be harassment.
  • Don’t use synthetic colors, grease or any such type of products which can be harmful to people and their skin. Sometimes people can be allergic to certain chemicals and it can cause serious damage to their body.
  • Don’t harass girls and women on the name of Holi. All the girls and women are advised to play Holi with willing people only, who they are comfortable around.

HOW TO GET READY FOR HOLI?

  1. Select those type of clothes that you are ready to throw away for Holi. Because your clothes are going to get dirty and colorful, so it is better to choose those types of clothes which you will not use anymore. But make sure they cover your body properly.
  2. Apply a lot of hair oil or serum in your hair which will help you to wash away all the colors after you have played Holi.
  3. Use some old sunglasses to avoid colors in your eyes. Avoid using contact lens as it can damage your eyes if the color gets in them.
  4. Apply a lot of body lotion or baby oil all over your body. So when you are washing away the color, it doesn’t harm your skin and leaves rashes.
  5. If your skin is sensitive to chemicals and colors, try to cover your body more with some clothes and avoid watercolors.
  6. Avoid carrying a wallet and your mobile phone or any expensive thing on Holi. But if you really wish to carry some cash and mobile, cover than in an airtight plastic bag so that they don’t get damaged.
Leticia with her friends on Holi|COMPLETE GUIDE: FESTIVAL OF COLORS HOLI
Leticia with her friends on Holi in India

If you are really planning to visit India, the best time is around February to March so you do not miss out the fun on this amazing festival of colors. Check out our complete guide on India so you can have a comfortable stay in India