Holi Festival

Holi Festival

Holi is a festival of colors which brings a lot of happiness, joy and makes everyone’s life more colorful. People enjoy the festival of holi every year in the Varanasi city and all around the country to have great joy. Holi is the indication of advent of spring season where everyone flooding out on the street to rejoice together this great occasion without having a little bit tension of their economic status.

The main day of the holi festival is celebrated in many regions by a number of names called as Dhuli (Sanskrit name), Dhulandi, Dhulendi and Dhulheti. People make a heap of the wood and burn that heap indicating the burning Holika (Holika Dahan) with the Prahlad. Devotees make a prayer at that place and hug each other to offer respect and enjoy festival. People then apply the ash (from burned Holika) on their forehead. Next morning to the Holika Dahan, people enjoy holi by applying the colors to each other. People go to everyone’s home to meet them, apply tilak, and distribute sweets which indicate that there is no conflict among them at the great occasion of the holi. Holi is rejoiced at the closing stage of the winter season at the full moon day of Phalguna means February/March. Holi lovers enjoy holi in many ways, they through balloon (filled with colors) to each other; some of them apply the color directly to them and someone uses pichkari to through the liquid color.

 

In respect to Shiva, bhaang is a common ingredient to add some fun to Holi. It is offered in the form of ‘thandai’ (a milk based drink) or ladoos, during the festival. It is better to take this in reasonable proportions with people that you are comfortable with. Many youngsters on the road offer this to travellers and urge them to join in for an authentic experience of Holi, but untoward incidents are not uncommon. You may want to order your own thandai, a day before the festival from Kashi Vishwanath ThandaiGhar , rather than take something spurious.

The roads are slathered in different colours during Holi, but the vantage point for you is someone’s terrace. Things can get a little uneasy when you are in the middle of boisterous young boys, so enjoy the show from a distance and play at local homes with people you may know. The best place to do that may be at a travel hostel like Stops, where you can douse other travellers in colours and also enjoy a safe Holi.

The mania around colours remains only till noon. A loud siren warns merry makers to shift the chaos to their own homes. This is a good time to head towards the ghats, likely to be covered in unimaginable colours. The mood becomes mellow by this time.

Holi is never complete without gujia and other sweets. Stock up on these from one of the oldest sweet shops of Varanasi, Shribandhu, in Kachauri Gali. If you are staying near Dashashwamedh ghat, this is walking distance.

If you are a culturally inclined traveller, try and reach there a day early to see the idol of Holika go up in flames in different areas of the cities, especially close to the ghats.


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