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It’s finally that time of the year again when people will come together to celebrate the delights of the colorful festival, Holi. The festival of Holi is so vibrant that not only is it celebrated in India but all around the world. On this occasion, happiness flows out on every lane and street. Be it by Indians living abroad or others, it is difficult to miss out on such a lively and colorful event.
Why is Holi Celebrated
Inspite of Holi being such a popular festival, a lot of people do not really understand its significance. So let us find out why Holi is celebrated.
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated to welcome the warmth of spring season. A day before Holi, a bonfire is lit which signifies the burning of all that is bad, the triumph of good over evil.
Holi is celebrated with great pomp all over India and the celebrations are unparalleled to anything else. Indian festivals are a great opportunity to come together, socialize and have fun. You will find people playing with each other, splashing water and colorful powder while dancing to upbeat tunes. The atmosphere is so cheerful and happening, you will want to join in immediately.
Though the concept of Holi remains the same, the way of celebration differs in every region of India. Let’s take a look at how these celebrations take place.
How Holi is Celebrated Across India
I believe that Vrindavan is the best place to experience the traditional rituals of Holi. Even though Holi is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm all over India, the Holi celebrations at Vrindavan have no match. The legend is that the festival originated in Vrindavan due to Lord Krishna. If you are not someone who enjoys getting drenched in water and colours then you will like the ‘Phoolon Wali Holi’ celebrated in Vrindavan. In this unique celebration, priests at the Banke Bihari temple shower devotees with flower petals instead of colours. After this, you can take part in the grand procession from Vishram Ghat in Mathura to the Holi Gate.
Weather – The weather in Vrindavan during Holi is quite favourable. March marks the beginning of summers, therefore luckily the climate is not hot but warm enough to enjoy it.
Transport – Though Vrindavan gets plenty of visitors, it, unfortunately, does not have its own airport.
The closest airport to Vrindavan is Kheria Airport in Agra, which is at a distance of 53 km from Vrindavan. You can get here via flights from major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, etc.
For international travellers, the closest airport to Varanasi is Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi which is about 144 km away from Vrindavan and will roughly take a four-hour drive.
This little village located near Mathura, Uttar Pradesh attracts a lot crowd due to their special celebrations called Lathmar Holi. These Holi celebrations are rather strange. The village women beat men with lathis (wooden sticks) while men protect themselves with shields, but it’s all in a playful manner. It is quite a sight to watch the giggling women take pleasure in putting their lathis to use. The Lathmar Holi is a very popular affair and draws travel photographers and journalists from all over the world. The celebrations for Lathmar Holi start a week before the rest of India, so make sure you get there earlier to experience this unusual spectacle.
Weather – The weather in March is very favorable to visit Barsana. The conditions are perfect to enjoy Holi.
Transport – The closest airport to Barsana is Kheria Airport in Agra, which is at a distance of 109 km from Barsana.
For international travelers, the closest airport to Barsana is Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. It is about 130 km away from Barsana and will roughly take a three-hour drive.
You should definitely go to Udaipur to experience the Royal Holi with the royal Mewar family. A ritual called holika dahan is held in Udaipur one day before Holi, where people all across the city light bonfires to ward off evil spirits. You will also get to witness the magnificent royal procession consisting of bejeweled horses, elephants; and pleasing music from the royal band. The entire city is covered in bright colors; this one-of-a-kind experience is not to be missed.
Weather – The weather in March is pleasing and agreeable. The temperature stays around 25 °C. You can take lazy strolls around the colorful and lively streets of Udaipur during Holi.
Transport – Udaipur has its own domestic airport, Maharana Pratap Airport. Though Udaipur has a steady flow of tourists year-round, it does not serve international flights yet.
For International travelers the best way to get to Udaipur is to take a flight to the closest international airport, Indira Gandi International Airport in New Delhi. From there you can either take a flight to the Udaipur airport or drive down to Udaipur which is approx. 180 km from Delhi.
Apart from this, there are plenty of other places where you can see the different types of traditional Holi celebrations like in Shantiniketan, Hampi, Goa, Manipur, Mumbai, etc. Each region has its own special way of celebration, but the purpose of all of it is the same, to come together in the spirit of Holi.
Holi Celebrations Around The World
The popularity of Holi has influenced a number of new festivals all over the world. It has eliminated all the geographical boundaries. Here are some ways Holi is celebrated around the world with a lot of gusto –
There is a large population of Indians settled in the States, therefore the celebration of Holi is done with great zeal. Some Indian societies organize programs and parties to celebrate the festival.
The ISKON temple in Utah organizes grand celebrations for Holi every year. Meanwhile, Holi parades are taken out to mark the event in New York where people can be seen having fun playing with colors. ‘Life In Color’ started out as a college festival in Florida, this festival is based on Holi and now has progressed into a worldwide color party.
Travel Tips –
Weather – In the USA the general climate in the month of March is mild. The temperature is tolerable, though it starts increasing towards the end of the month.
In various places like London, Scotland, Manchester, Barcelona, Madrid different Indian organizations have events and parties on the occasion of Holi. These events include traditional music, Indian street food stalls, and other entertainment. Indians, as well as locals, love to participate in these events.
Weather – In March the weather in Europe can be a little cold. But many of the popular cities do have decent weather. In Southern Europe, the weather is dry in March. But its better you carry a light jacket or sweater.
3. Cape Town:
The ‘Holi One’ is a colour festival held in Cape Town. This festival aims to adapt our vivid culture of celebrating Holi with music and colours. This ‘Holi One’ event is extremely popular and is attended by folks from all over the world who are eager to join this colourful fiesta.
Weather – March is a great time to visit Cape Town for Holi, it marks the end of summer in Cape Town. While many other destinations are still experiencing cold temperatures or a lot of rain, the weather in Cape Town is still warm. It begins to cool down in March when the summer season comes to a close.
Excited to be a part of Holi this year? If you have already picked your favorite place to celebrate here are some tips you should remember to make the best of your experience –
- Do not waste too much water, play with just colors instead. This will also make it easier for you to take the color off later.
- Make sure you use eco-friendly, organic colors. Using toxic, chemical colors will harm your skin.
- Remember to wear a bandana or oil your hair to protect it from the chemicals that may be in the colors.
- It is advisable to wear clothes that will cover you properly to avoid contact with the harmful colors.
- Remember to protect your eyes from the toxic colors; it can harm your eyes.
- So what are you waiting for? Do not miss out on this festive season of Holi. Pack your bags and book your tickets with us right now to avail our special Holi offers. It’s time to celebrate!