Holi In India

Holi In IndiaBarsana
Holi of Barsana, the birthplace of Radha, a village, 42 kms away from Mathura, is of particular interest. Here, men from Nandgaon, the land of Krishna come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana and hope of raising their flag over Shri Radhikaji's temple. But, instead of colors they are greeted with sticks by the gopis. Hence, the Holi get its new name here-Lathmaar Holi.
Men come fully padded as they are fully aware of beatings they will get. In fact they are not allowed to retaliate on that day. They try their best not to be captured. The unlucky one's are forcefully led away and get a good thrashing from the women. Further, they are made to wear female attire and dance in public.
The next day, it is the turn of men of Barsana. They reciprocate by invading Nandgaon and drench the womenfolk of Nandgaon in naturally occurring orange-red dye and palash. This day the women of Nandagaon beat the invaders from Barsana.
The celebrations are filled with clouds of colors and of course, much fun.

Gujarat
The vibrant Gujarat reverberates with the chants of the folk song-'Govinda ala re, zara matki sambhal Brijbala..' on the Holi day. The boys and girls of this state move in processions groups (tolis). Drenched in colored waters boys cheerfully warn people to take care of their pots of butter and milk. The tradition has its origin from the legend of Lord Krishna who was known to steal butter and milk from any accessible house in his village.

Gujarat is also famous for the tradition of breaking earthen pot full of buttermilk and tied high on a rope. Hundreds of people participate in forming a human pyramid, in order to reach the pot. At places, there are also prizes for the group which successfully breaks the pot. The person who actually breaks the pot is crowned the 'Holi King' of the locality for the year. Onlookers keep throwing buckets of water on the boys forming the pyramid.
On the eve of Holi, a bonfire decorated with flowers and fruits is lit with a fire brought from the temple of Mata. People offer raw mangoes, coconut, corn, toys made of sugar, khoya to the 'Holika' and apply tilak on each other and hug their dear ones. Young girls create images of their goddess 'Gauri' out of the ashes left by the bonfire of the night before.
The next day, called Dhuleti, is reserved for the play of colours.

Mathura-Vrindavan
People from all corners of India gather at Mathura-Vrindavan every year to celebrate Holi in the land of Krishna. People relive the legends of Holi associated with Radha and Krishna. The underlying romantic feeling of Radha Krishna can be experienced in the ambience of these two cities. People of Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate Holi for over a week. Each Krishna temple celebrates Holi on a different day.

Soaked in the colors of Holi people can be found totally immersed in the spirit of devotion here. Another interesting place for Holi celebrations is Gulal-Kund in Braj; a beautiful little lake near Govardhan mountain. Here, pilgrims can see the re-enactments of Holi throughout the year at this lake.

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