Types Of Holi Celebrations In India


The mythological story behind the most vibrant festival of India is known to all. We all have read stories about how Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil where Lord Vishnu protected his devotee Prahlad from his evil father Hiranyakashyap and aunt Holika. However, every state and city has its own story. Mathura is famous for celebrating the eternal love of Radha and Lord Krishna which is popular across the world as Lathmar holi. But are you familiar with the rest? From Lathmar Holi to Dol Jatra, here’s a list of the most popular Holi celebrations in various states across India.

1. Lathmar Holi, Barsana UP

Celebrated in the native place of Lord Krishna, Barsana’s Lathmar holi is the most popular form of Holi celebration in the country. Men and women gather to play holi not just with colours but with sticks, where the Gopis (women) chase away the men with lathis (sticks). It’s the major attraction of Mathura that draws crowds not only from Vrindavan, Mathura, Nandgoan, but across the world.

2. Phaguwa, Bihar

Loaded with traditional folk songs, thandai and gujiyas, Bihar’s holi celebrations are just as crazy as the ones in Uttar Pradesh. It’s known as Phaguwa in their local dialect which is Bhojpuri.

3. Basant Utsav and Dol Jatra, West Bengal

Basant Utsav celebrations at Shantiniketan welcoming the spring season is a visual delight. People dress up in traditional yellow outfits, sing and dance their hearts out followed by Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry recitals and cultural programs. In Bengal, Holi is known as Dol or Dol Jatra where a grand procession of Lord Krishna is being taken through the streets where devotees sing and smear colour on each other.

4. Dola, Orissa

Holi celebrations in the state are pretty similar to the one in West Bengal. However, the main highlight is Dolagovinda, where processions of Lord Jagannath can be seen throughout the various cities of the state.

5. Ukuli, Kerala

Also known as Manjal Kuli, the Kudumbi and Konkani communities of Kerala celebrate the festival at the Konkani temple of Gosripuram Thirumala. Unlike other states, they use turmeric and other natural colours.

6. Shigmo, Goa

Much to your surprise, even the holiday destination of India has its own form of Holi celebrations. Shigmo is a celebration where local farmers welcome the spring through street dances and traditional folk songs where tourists also can be seen taking part in full zest.

7. Hola Mohalla, Punjab

Celebrations in the land of Sikhs is a bit different from the other states in India. Here, they celebrate the festival actually a day after Holi. Hola Mohalla is a unique amalgamation of martial arts displays, traditional folk songs, and dance.

8. Baithaki Holi, Uttarakhand

Also known as Kahila Holi and Khadi Holi, it’s celebrated by the locals in huge gatherings which is called Toli in their local language. All decked up in traditional attire, here celebrations are more about singing and dancing than smearing colour.

9. Yaosang, Manipur

In case you thought Manipuris steer clear of the festival, wait till you hear that Holi here is a week-long celebration of colours and Thabal Chongba, a traditional Manipuri folk dance.

10. Shimga, Maharashtra

Popularly known as Rang Panchami in the state, Holika Dahan is an integral part of their celebrations followed by smearing of colours. In some parts of the state, the celebrations continue for a week.

Image Courtesy: Raanjhanaa (Hindi Movie)