Majority of us may have heard of certain unique Holi festivals like the great celebrations of colors in Mathura and Vrindavan, the women power supporter Lathmar Holi and the game of colors with flowers. But I am sure you must not be aware of the below mentioned Holi rituals which will keep your mouth wide open with amazement.
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Holla Mohalla of Punjab
Sikhs have always stood as an inspiration for a disciplined and organized life and similar are their celebrations. Holi in Punjab by the Sikhs differ from the entire country in many ways. On this auspicious day of colors, the locals exhibit their martial arts and other physical abilities. They all get together to enjoy tasty delicacies like halwas, puris, gujias, and Malpuas. They eat, dance, sing and play Holi together in the evening.
Yaoshang Festival of Manipur
In Manipur, people celebrate holi as Yaoshang for duration of 6 long days. This basically starts on the full moon day of Phalguna month wherein Holi comes underway. It is quite a cultural extravaganza to witness with the number of folk dancers and musicians performing amid fluorescent lamps and bonfires are put ablaze while people play with gulal. Since the very beginning of Vaishnavism, these two Manipur festivals are celebrated here.
Royal Holi in Udaipur
Rajasthan being a state of royalty and prestige is extremely rich in its Rajput era architecture, culture, traditions, fooding and so on. Similarly, the festivals observed here showcase a lot of elite lifestyle in them. Holi in Udaipur is absolutely spectacular and royal. On the day of Holi, The Maharaja of Mewar welcomes honourable guests, foreign tourists, and many dignitaries to The Royal City Palace. The Maharaja arrives in the celebration wearing traditional clothes and a bonfire is lit in the expansive ground of the palace. The bonfire signifies the triumph of good over evil. There are drums folk dances and folk songs followed by cocktails, a lavish dinner, and wonderful fireworks. Then the people witnessing the royal celebration of Mewar play with a rainbow of colors.
Khadi Holi in Uttarakhand
Holi in Uttarakhand is more about socializing than just playing with colours. People form a huge group and move around their colonies or Moholla to put colours to everybody in their society. Its not just the colours they celebrate but also sing folk songs throughout. The music combined with colours festivity is a must watch event. As a part of the celebration, the locals wear traditional clothes, sing khari songs and dance in groups. They move in tolis, and greet the people they pass by. The holi here will be different versions known as Baithika Holi, Khadi Holi and Mahila Holi.
Manjal Kuli – Kerala
Holi is not a very well known phenomenon in the South. But it is celebrated by Malayalis in Kerala as Ukuli or Manjal Kuli. The traditional Kerala communities that play Holi include Gaud Sarawat Brahmins and other Konkani communities.
Holi celebrations in Kerala begin at the temples on the day of the holi full moon in early March. It is celebrated mainly by the Kudumbi community of nearly a million at 20 temples in the state over four days. Persecuted by the Portuguese in Goa, a section of the Kudumbi community fled Goa. Those who reached Kerala brought the festival of Holi with them and were welcomed by the ruler of Cochin. In some of the Kudumbi temples in Ernakulam, an areca nut tree is felled and carried to the shrine, symbolizing Durga’s victory over the demons. In some temples in Thrissur, a figure of a crocodile is modelled out of mud. According to belief, the goddess, in the form of a crocodile, helped the Kudumbis when they faced trouble while migrating to Kerala. On the second day of the celebrations, the Kudumbis get themselves sprayed with coloured water, containing turmeric and dance to traditional Kerala percussion. The ceremony is called Manjakkuli equivalent to throwing of colour in the north.
Kaman Pandigai in Tamil Nadu
Every state have their own mythology associated and the most interesting one is of Tamil Nadu. Here people worship Lord Kamadeva on the occasion of Holi. The rituals are done to show their respect to the sacrifice made by Kaamadeva to bring back Lord Shiva to his normal state after the destruction of his beloved Goddess Sati.
In Tamil Nadu songs are sung on holi depicting Rati’s extreme sorrow and people offer sandalwood to Kaamadeva to easen the pain of burning. People also believe that Kaamdeva was revived on the day of Holi to take a new birth and hence celebrate the festival in his name.
Holi receives this name in the state of Haryana. Here, bhabhi – the brother’s wife gets an upper hand on the day of Holi. And, devar’s – husband’s younger brothers need to watchout.
The bhabhi’s on this day get a social sanction on Holi to beat their devars and make them pay the price of all the pranks they played on them for the entire year. Bhabhi’s roll up their saris in the form of a rope in a mock rage, and give a good run to their devars. In the evening, devars are supposed to bring sweets for their dear bhabhi. Besides, there is also a tradition of breaking the pot of buttermilk hung high in the street by forming a human pyramid.