De cinematic images of children, women and men painted red, happily dancing together: these are the colorful moments of the special Holi festival that is celebrated every year by Hindus worldwide. Nowadays we also celebrate it in the Netherlands, but the real Holi celebration has its origin in the religious India, which is also one of the the largest country in the world? is. A country where normally the many population groups are separated from each other, during Holi there is no distinction at all between man or woman, young or old, rich or poor. The Holi festival is a unique celebration and an excellent opportunity to experience India at its best. Every year at the beginning of March you can completely immerse yourself in Indian tradition and culture, when the Good triumphs, spring arrives and the farmers thank the gods for their harvest.
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hello | good vs. Pissed off
Holi – or Holi Phagwa – is celebrated on the first day after the full moon appears in the black sky in the Hindu month of Chaitre. This day usually falls in the month of March and is often accompanied by the start of spring. The story behind the party has to do with the dangerous demon king Hirayakashap and his son Prahalad, who refused to worship his father. Prahalad believed in Vishnu, patron of the universe. The king's sister, Holika, wanted to punish him for this by luring him to a stake and burning him alive. In the end, it was not Prahalad but the witch Holika who perished in the conflagration. Vishnu crushed the evil king and the world was saved.
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All's well that ends well. The Holi festival is therefore mainly intended to celebrate that good is stronger than evil. Everyone sprinkles and sprinkles each other with color powder, amber and color water. Red symbolizes victory while green symbolizes hope and confidence. Every year a pyre is prepared by a priest (pandit) with which the holika is set on fire again.
Holi in Barsana and Purulia
There are several places in India where you can experience the Holi festival. The village of Barsana, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh is one such place. Here the party known as Lathmar Holi starts a week before the real Holi day. The women from the village walk around gracefully dressed in red with sticks and 'beat' the men from the neighboring village of Nandgaon. No, not a tribal war but a symbolic gesture and also a very special spectacle. In Purulia, in West Bengal, you can party during the Basanta Utsav festival that lasts three days and ends on the actual Holi day. Indian folk music, various traditional dances such as Chau and Natua and over-friendly and partying locals who are only too happy to dance with you.
Sikh Holi and the Majestic Holi
If you want to experience Holi in a completely different way, go to Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. This is where the Hola Mohalla festival takes place, where the Sikh don't so much scatter colors around, but rather show their physical arts. Wrestling, martial arts, sword fighting and acrobatic martial arts are displayed in a very lively and impressive way. You won't know what you're going through! The royals also celebrate Holi of course. You can experience this up close in Udaipur. Meter high flames symbolize the victory over the evil spirits. Udaipur's royal family celebrates Holi in a special procession in the city palace. Breathtaking and overwhelming.
Places where you would normally not set foot so quickly have been transformed during Holi into locations where only joy and togetherness can be found. Dharavi is one of the largest slums in Mumbai, which is saying something in overcrowded India. Yet you can experience here during the days of Holi how friendly and helpful the residents are. All festivities during Holi therefore aim to help the people in Dharavi. Music everywhere and an abundance of colors. Dancing children, laughing men and women wishing each other Sub Holi – Happy New Year – you don't know what you're going through. The real India has risen!