Holi, which is also known as the festival of colors, is one of the most significant festivals of India. It is a spring festival which witnesses fun and frolic as people throw color and water on each other and savor the delicious gujiyas, which are an integral part of Holi. However, the forms, names and celebrations vary from state to state.
Lath mar Holi (Uttar Pradesh)
This form of Holi is popular in Barsana and Nandgaon, which are located near Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. As the name suggests, Lath mar Holi is played with sticks. According to legend, every year on Holi, Lord Krishna would pay a visit to the village of Radha, his beloved. He would playfully tease Radha and her friends who would then chase them out of the village. The customs continues to this day and women can be seen chasing men and beating them with lathis. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit the region at this time of the year to witness the spectacle.
Hola Mohalla (Punjab)
Hola Mohalla is a Sikh festival and is widely celebrated in the state of Punjab. Hola Mohalla is celebrated a day after Holi and witnesses members of the community performing martial arts. Fun and gaiety mark the festival and in the evening people play with colors and water.
Dol Jatra (West Bengal)
Dol Jatra is a major festival in Bengal and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The streets come alive as a merry crowd of devotees carry the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha. Joyous scenes are witnessed as men spray color on the procession of people. For Bengalis, the day is also significant as it is the birthday of the Vaishnava saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Holi is known as Phaguwa in the state of Bihar. However, before people start playing Holi, they lit the Holika pyre. Thereafter they indulge in fun and frolic by throwing powdered color and water on each other and play folk songs. Many people also consume bhang on this day.
Manjal Kuli (Kerala)
In Kerala, Holi is known by the name of Manjal Kuli. It is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and fervor in the Konkani temple of Gosripuram Thirumala.
In Manipur, Holi is known as Yaosang. The festival, which is marked by fun and gaiety, is celebrated for six days. People play with colors and a Manipur folk dance, Thabal Chongba, is the highlight of the festival.