Festivals of India
The festival of Holi, a spring harvesting festival is celebrated over two days after the full moon in early March every year. On the evening of the first day bonfires are lit in public places and the next day people celebrate with festive vibrancies and wild abandon as they throw coloured powder and water at each other. The second day is called Dhuleti or Rangapanchami (Ranga-colour, Panchami=fifth day), from the time when the festival was celebrated over five days. Harvested grains and coconut were offered as oblation to the fire in rejoicing at the fertility of the land.
Festivals Of India|
Passage to India
Holi is one of the few Indian festivals that is celebrated publicly with great gusto. Weeks before the arrival of Holi, young boys comb the neighbourhood and collect waste-wood for the bonfire, lit at dusk.
Holi is not categorically dedicated to any deity from the Hindu pantheon, as are other festivals like Mahashivaratri, Ramanavami, Krishnastami, etc. Although mythology does make inferences to Shiva and Madana (the God of love) and how the meditating Shiva destroyed Madana with his third eye, when Madana disguised himself as a nymph to disturb him.
In Vrindavan and Mathura the festival is celebrated for 16 days in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. Lord Krishna is believed to have popularised the festival by playing pranks on the gopis here. The celebrations officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.