Holi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals prevailing in India and an important part of Indian culture and traditions. It is also known as ‘Holika Dahan. It diminishes the differences and brings people together. It is one of the ancient festivals and the rituals are religiously followed every year with much excitement and enthusiasm. It is celebrated in different ways in different places. The places like Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Nandagaon which are associated with the birth of Lord Krishna, Holi is celebrated with most love, pleasure and enthusiasm.
According to the Krishna Legend, the play with the colors is associated with Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna started the tradition of playing with colors by applying color on his beloved Radha and other Gopis. Accordingly, this tradition gained popularity and Holi came to be known as the most colorful festival of India.
The celebrations start days before the actual day with people gathering wood for the lighting of the bonfire called Holika Dahan. Holika Dahan is accompanied by lots of enjoyment filled with many activities. The festive spirit leads people to the tradition of drinking bhang, a kind of lassi made of powdered green inflorescence with curd and is put in a village blender.
The people dance on dholak and folk songs are sung by them. During the festival, the glasses filled with Thandai are served to the people. With gujiya, malpuas and dahi badas, the celebration gets more enhanced. On one hand, Mathura and Vrindavan are known for traditional Holi, Delhi is known for modern Holi on the other.
Cultural Holi is seen in West Bengal and Purulia, West Bengal extends folk Holi. Tribal Holi is experienced in Banswara. But, the festival is not very intense in the South. Holi is one such festival which is celebrated in different ways across India but the spirit leaves the similar impact on everyone.