India being a country of diversified culture has different rituals for the same festivals as well. Holi is one of the major festivals of India is celebrated by majority parts of the country. Very few must be knowing about Rang Panchami which is celebrated 5 days after Holi in some parts of the country. Rather it is Rang Panchami which culminates the Holi festivity in certain temples of Mathura and Vrindavan. In states like Maharashtra, it is known as ‘Shimgo’ and is marked by their traditional Palkhi dance. Here the fishing community participates more actively. Rang Panchami is more popular in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and some parts of North India.
In 2018, Rang Panchami would be celebrated on 6th March (Tuesday).
Panchami Tithi Begins = 03:09 on 6/Mar/2018
Panchami Tithi Ends = 03:27 on 7/Mar/2018
Ranga Panchami is observed on the ‘Panchami’ i.e. the fifth day of the Krishna Paksha, the waning phase of the moon during the Hindu month of ‘Phalgun.’ Now you must be having a question on what exactly Rang Panchami is! It is very similar to Holi and is celebrated by throwing Gulal and splashing colored water on people.
Significance of Rang Panchami
Rang Panchami has highly religious significance for the Hindus and is considered to be an important ritual. As all of us know, Holika Dahan – the puja done a day before Holi is associated with lilting a huge fire. The fire which is lit during Holi purifies all the rajasic as well as tamasic particles that are present in the atmosphere. It creates a pure aura in the surroundings and fills the atmosphere with tremendous positivity which helps activate various Deities in the form of colors. Hence, Rang Panchami is a celebration to express the bliss of the purification. Thus, Rang Panchami is a symbol of victory over Rajas and Tamas and respects the ‘Panch Tatva’ which builds up the universe (earth, light, water, sky, and wind). It is believed that the human body is also made of the five elements. The festival of Rang Panchami invokes these five basic elements which help to restore balance in life.
Celebrations of Rang Panchami
Many confuse Rang Panchami with Holi, though it is observed in a similar way, it is celebrated for a quite different reason. In this festival usually in Indore and Maharashtra, a procession headed by a water tank with high-pressure jet, two ceremonial cannons, and a camel circumambulator the town. It colors everyone in the street. Especially in Indore thousands of people gather in front of Rajwada to get colored by the canon. Bhang and alcohol intensify the heightened sensations of these exuberant communities.
Locals of Maharashtra also know Holi as Shimga or Shimgo. The festival is particularly popular amongst fisherfolk. They celebrate it in on a large scale and revel in the festivities by singing, dancing, and merry-making. These special dances provide those means to release all their repressed feelings, needs, and desires. People also utter sound through their mouths in a peculiar fashion by striking their mouths with the back of their hands.
Hindu devotees at some places also worship Lord Krishna and Radha on this day. They perform puja rituals to pay homage to the divine union between Krishna and Radha. This festival is also believed to spark and maintain the love amongst people.