Holi Rituals You Might not be Aware of

Holi Rituals You Might not be Aware of

Holi, the most celebrated festival in India defines the togetherness among the people of cast, colour, religion and the state. This festival of colour spreads love and friendship and is celebrated with immense gusto and charm in all parts of the country. It begins with Holika Dahan a night before, then the next day people play with colours, and fills up once stomach with best Indian delicacies. Well, these are the facts each one of us are well aware of. Now, check out some Holi celebration trivia, not many of us are aware of.

  1. Worshiping Goddess Durga

The Kudumbi community of Kerala is the habitants of Goa, who, upon being persecuted by the Portuguese, fled from Goa to Kerala. This community celebrates victory of Goddess Durga over Demons on the occasion of holi. They cut an arecanut tree and transport it to the shrine

  1. Worshiping Crocodile made of Mud

The same Kudumbi community also worship crocodile created using mud, which is believed to symbolise the Goddess who helped the community while migrating to Kerala from Goa. On the succeeding day of the celebration, the entire Kudumbi community, play with colours by hurling at each other water mixed with turmeric and dance and sing.

  1. A Celebration of 5 Days to decide on the Year’s Harvest

Many parts of India celebrate Holi for 3-5 days, with new occasion every day. In Assam Holi is celebrated as the festival called Doulutsava. The festival is celebrated as the welcome of spring and the end of winter, they call the ritual Mejipuoa. During the celebration, apart from Holika Dahan, bhang and playing with colours, they also celebrate barley harvest, wherein, people come together to light the fire over which they bury a pot of new barley seeds under the pyre for roasting. They eat those seeds after the fire is extinguished. Divinations for the coming harvest are cast by interpreting the direction of the flames or by the state of the seeds in the buried pot. People sometimes take embers from the fire to their homes to rekindle their own domestic fires. The ashes from the Holi fire are also believed to provide protection against diseases.

  1. Thabal Chongba

People at Manipure performs a special Manipuri dance, called ‘Thabal Chongba’ during the festival. Thabal, means moonlight and Chongba means dance. Though earlier only drum or dholak, was allowed to be used for this special dance, now modern musical instruments are also used. They also celebrate Holi for 6 days. This dance is performed on all six-days in every locality and gives a chance to the young boys and girls to meet.

  1. Dol Jatra

In Bengal the festival is celebrated in a special way to welcome spring and is known by the name of ‘Dol Jatra’, ‘Dol Purnima’. The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the idols of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. the students dress up in saffron-coloured clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments presenting an enchanting view to the onlookers and a memory to cherish for years

  1. Fix Marriage

In places like North West India and Manipure, Holi is also a celebration for young girls and boys to meet and form liaisons leading to marriage.

  1. Lath-Marr Holi

Holi in Banaras is famous for lathmar holi celebration. Banaras being birth place of Lord Krishna, holi is one of the most celebrated festivals here. Men come to colour the women, fully padded and try their best to escape from the spirited women who welcome them with sticks. Men are not supposed to retaliate on the day. The unlucky ones are forcefully led away and get a good thrashing from the women. Further, they are made to wear a female attire and dance in public.

  1. Matka Phod

In Gujrat the festival is famous for the tradition of breaking earthen pot full of buttermilk that is tied high on a rope. Hundreds of people participate in forming a human pyramid, in order to reach the pot. A ‘Holi King’ is selected among every group who finally tries to break the pot with coconut. Meanwhile, the onlookers keep throwing buckets of water on the boys forming the pyramid. At places, there are also prizes for the group which successfully breaks the pot.


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Written by 

Abhilahsa is editor @dramaticindia, a Post Graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, is passionate about entertainment, lifestyle and yes.. Gossip! She is a self-proclaimed foodie, loves to be around sugar and spice and everything nice. In her spare time, Abhilasha can be found watching videos online, be it related to food, travel or documentaries. Loves reading, partying and sleeping.

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