Types of Holi in India

Holi (March 09, 2020 Tuesday) is India’s most colorfully vibrant festival welcoming spring on the Full Moon day in Falgun (February-March). The whole festival split into two occasions; one is Holika Dahan and the other is Dhuleti. The former includes lighting up a bonfire to burn all evil tendencies within us and the latter celebrated the next day includes playing with colors and waters.

‘Holi’ comes from Holika, who was an evil sister of King Hiranyakashupu. It is described in the Bhagavad Purana that Hiranyakashipu wanted to rule the earth and be the god of all. When he learned that his son Prahlad is an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, he schemed to have him killed in so many ways. At last he asked his sister Holika to burn him. Even that attempt went in vain as she herself got burned. Later on Lord Vishnu incarnated as Narasimha (Half lion and half human) and killed the king.you can read here Story of Holika Dahan.

So this festival celebrates the victory of good over evil. Holi is celebrated in different states across India. There are about eleven types of Holi in India given below.

Maharashtra: In this state, Holi is celebrated as Rang Panchami or Shimga.

People prepare for Holika Dahan, a bonfir the night before the actual celebration. The next day is Rang Panchami day also known as Dhuleti wherein people of all ages play with colors and water.

Punjab: In this state, Holi is celebrated as Hola Mohalla commemorating the gallantry of Sikh warriors in history. People celebrate it sporting traditional martial arts followed by food, music and dancing.

Rajasthan: In this state, Holi is celebrated as Holika Dahanor Royal Holi organized by the Royal Mewar family of Udaipur. Celebrations include a fancy procession, several decorated horses and music performed by the royal band. The traditional bonfire is lighted up and an effigy of Holika is burned.

Uttarakhand: In this state, Holi is celebrated asKahila Holi, Khadi Holi or Baithaki Holi. Celebrations includewearing of traditional attire and music which include singing/dancing with traditional folksongs. People gather as toli and spear each other with colors.

Uttar Pradesh: In this state, Holi is celebrated as Lathmar Holi with a totally different approach to the entire Holi celebrations. Women armed with lathis (cranes) chase men carrying the shields and jokingly hit them. Men on the side protect themselves. The one failing to defend himself and getting arrested is made to wear a ladies attired and dance in public. It is said that Lord Krishna and His friends intending to tease Radha were chased away by Her friends with lathis.

Bihar: In this state, Holi is celebrated as Phaguwa. Celebrations includeHolika Dahan (burning of bonfire) and Dhuleti the next day with traditional music and folk songs played throughout the day.

Manipur: In this state, Holi is celebrated as Yaosangover a period of six days. Celebrations include a mix of North Eastern and Hindi traditions. People play with color and water. However, the main highlight is Thabal Chongba a traditional Manipuri folk dance

West Bengal: In this state, Holi is celebrated asDol Jatra or Basant Utsav. Women wear yellow saris as this color denotes richness and abundance. You may visit Shanti Bolpur where you get to witness the rich Bengali culture filled with Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry recitals and traditional song anddance programs. Next day people celebrate Holi as Dol Jatra wherein Lord Krishna’s procession is taken out with traditional songs and dance performed by the participants. People then play with colors and water.

Orissa (Odisha): In this state, Holi is celebrated as Dola. Holi celebrations include the procession of Lord Jagannath (Dolagovinda). Everything else is as same as that in West Bengal.

Kerala: In this state, Holi is celebrated as Ukuli or Manjal Kuli. Here, the locals especially The Kudumbi and Konkani communities take part in customary Holi Celebrations using turmeric powder known as Manjal Kuli with other natural colors.

Goa: In this state, Holi is celebrated as shigmo. Celebrations include street dances, parades and traditional folk songs performed by local farming communities. Although known with different names, Holi centers around one single spirit; the spirit of joy, unity, customs, love, music and food. It is the festival to renew the celebrative spirit and mood. It is the festival of burying the hatches and starting everything afresh.

Olivia Wilson

Olivia Wilson is a digital nomad and founder of Todays Past. She travels the world while freelancing & blogging. She has over 5 years of experience in the field with multiple awards. She enjoys pie, as should all right-thinking people.