India has a wide range of festivals, and are very important to the Indian community. One of the most interesting festivals is Holi Festival, a Hindu festival to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring in India. It is also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. Holi is usually in March, but sometimes is at the end of February. Holika Dahan (Kamudu Pyre) is a bonfire the night before Holi begins. In this ritual, Indians burn an effigy of Holika, the devil minded sister of the demon king.
The next morning, Holi officially begins, and is the main day of celebrations. People throw colorful powder on each other. The colorful powder is considered a medium of purification by Hindus. The pink powder is the most sacred because it symbolizes friendliness. People also throw balloons filled with the colored powder. This ritual is called the Dhuleti. The festival is celebrated throughout India with each region having slightly different rituals. Some of those are:
In Jaipur, there is a parade of elephants painted with beautiful colors. Besides being painted, the elephants wear jewelry-like accessories.
- Purulia, West Bengal
Holi lasts for three days in Purulia. If you visit this area during Holi, you will be greeted with a variety of unique art. Traditional dances are a part of the festival, including the Chhau dance, Darbari Jhumur, and Natua dance.
In this region, Holi is known as Śhigmo or Konkani. It is very popular in Goa is a big tourist attraction there. Śhigmo lasts for approximately one month and is celebrated in two variations, Dhakto Shigmo (celebrated in advance by the villagers) and Vhadlo Shigmo (celebrated together). Vhadlo Shigmo celebrations are usually celebrated in temples such as Jambavali, Phartarpya, Kansarpla, and Dhargaele.
In Punjab, Holi is celebrated by painting the yard and the walls of the home. This painting is called Chowk-poorna.
Before the celebration of Holi arrives in this area, kids collect money and wood. The collected wood is for the bonfire. The money is to buy the things needed for the special dishes.
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