New Delhi: The festival of colours – Holi is celebrating on Friday which signifies the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring.
In Vrindavan, with chants of hari bhajans, dance, colours, water, flowers and sweets, the Holi festival is being celebrated with great fervor. Not just Indians, but foreign nationals are also celebrating the festival of colours with joy and enthusiasm.
President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Modi and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have extended their greetings and good wishes to the citizens on the auspicious occasion of Holi.
In his message, Kovind said Holi is a celebration of harmony in society and it conveys a message of unity, goodwill and fraternity. The President expressed confidence that this cherished day will inspire all Indians at home and abroad, to strengthen their bonds of friendship and fill their lives with happiness and optimism.
The festival of colours and the festive vibe is for all to see. People are celebrating Holi today with much fervour. Holi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals across the country. Like every festival in India, several myths, legends and folklore are associated with Holi too. Playing with colours, water guns, and indulging in Holi special treats, is what most of us associate with Holi celebrations.
West Bengal’s folk culture dominates Holi celebrations in the region. Celebrated as Basant Utsav and Dol Jatra, Holi in Bengal is more of a celebration of spring and the eternal romance of Radha and Krishna. Basant translates to spring and Utsav is festival in Bengali. On this special occasion, women dress up in vibrant hues of yellow. In Shantiniketan, Bolpur, people gather and witness the rich art and culture of Bengal.
Skilled artisans display their work of art while performers sing and dance to traditional Bengali tunes. Students of Shantiniketan recite Tagore’s poetry. Dol Jatra is the ritualistic festival of swings. Idols of Krishna and Radha are placed on the swings and worshipped. Smeared in abir (colours), people also take on the swings and have a jolly good time with their friends and family. Bengali delicacies like jilipi, payesha and sandesh are a hit during Dol celebrations.
The colorful party makes up just one part of Holi. The night before on Holika Dahan, Hindus light dung and wood in a symbolic effigy to commemorate the demise of Holika. People throw the famed, colored powder on Rangwali Holi, the second day of the festival and most famous.
People prepare much earlier by purchasing the powder and kids excitedly practice their aim. Certain groups focus more on the solemn, religious aspects: In the Braj region of India, for example, Holi celebrations stretch for 16 days.