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Rajasthan is a state of royal culture, festival and traditions. Where people love to wear heavy traditional dresses with big ornaments and celebrate every festival with full enthusiasm. In Rajsthan the charm of Holi has colorful magic that makes it an integral part of Rajasthani culture. Rajasthani people know how to celebrate life and they put in a lot of heart in their festivals and make it distinguish.
Holi is one of the important festival in Rajasthan that attracts all the locals and tourists from India and across the world. It is celebrated on the full moon night of the Phalgun month, according to the Hindu calendar and it’s a perfect occasion that matches with the identity and character of Rajasthan i.e ‘Rangeela Rajasthan'(Colorful Rajasthan). So here I take you to get drenched in the endless colors of Holi that is celebrated differently with Singing, dancing and the traditional beats of dhol which makes the festival look much more colorful and impressive.
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Preparation for Holi starts days before the actual festival. For holika dahan (A traditional ritual involves the burning of an effigy of a mythical demoness named Holika) girls or ladies make ornaments/ garland from cow dung, Day before Holika dahan people prepare holika i.e a bonfire. Preparation of special sweets for this colorful festival also begins before the festival. People purchase colors and gulal to delineate the day of festival. Ladies wash their hair and apply Heena (Rajasthani Festival can never complete without Heena) one day before Holi festival.
Holika Dahan :
Holika Dahan or the traditional bonfire is the celebration of the victory of goodness over evil. There is a myth associated with this tradition. People lit up and worship the bonfire and put that cow dunk garland and shower abuses towards the demons and wish for goodness, and later in morning they make it cool with the belief of burning all negative vibes in the bonfire .
Folk Traditions of colors in Rajasthan :
Brij Mahotsav :
This is one of the most legendary festive celebration that is celebrated in the honor of Lord Krishna, and falls few days before Holi. The festival is celebrated for three days in the Braj region, which is situated in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. People put on multi-colored vibrant attires and celebrate by singing and dancing and illustrate the divine love between Radha and Krishna through Raslila. This celebration is a way to welcome Holi with high spirits and festive mood.
Dhulandi is celebrated across India the day after Holika Dahan (the traditional bonfire). Everyone, including the young and the old, men and women can be seen indulging in the colors of Holi. People celebrating it by throwing and smearing colors or gulal on each other, they tear clothes and put color on full body also. The celebration is going on for entire day and at some places the colorful fun is happening for two days. This festival has really a splendid charm in the in the capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur and its nearby areas.
Gair Holi :
Gair is a local folk dance performed in different ways in different places. Gair holi is celebrated in the adjoining places near Ajmer. Men from 12 villages collect at Godaji village near Ajmer in Rajasthan to play gair a few days after holi. Each village brings his own drummer, gair troupes, musical instruments and the excitement for this type of celebration can be seen in the audience and participating crowd around there.
Dolchi Holi :
This one is wet celebration involves people throwing water on each another with force in mug, balloons or a specially made vessel called Dolchi, made from the camel skin. The water is thrown only on the back of the individual and not front. It is celebrating specdially in Bikaner district but now it is played by everyone and they add different colors in water also.
Mali Holi :
It is a popular way of celebrating Holi in Mali (Garderner) community. It is played in many different ways and its general way is a bit of wild celebration in which traditionally men splitting color on women then in respond to men women hit them with a bamboo or a stick or long piece of clothes.
Lathmar Holi :
The Lathmar Holi of Mathura-Vrindavan is very famous in the country, but it is also famous in Bharatpur and Karoli region that is nearby of Mathura, specially at a place Kaman in Bharatpur district which comes only in Brij. In this, women were dressed in colorful clothes. Women were pelting sticks on them while men try to put colors on women and men wore shields to protect their head from sticks.
Koda-mar Holi :
Koda-mar holi is celebrating in Shri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bhilwara and Ajmer region. In this type of Holi men play with color or gulal and women hit them with Koda (an handmade double wooden bind with rubber) or a long cotton cloth dipped in water. This Koda-mar holi gives people the color of pain and happiness together.
Patthar-mar Holi :
Patthar-mar holi is celebrating in Barmer, dungarpur, banswara, bara region. This type of Holi is so violent but some people play it just for fun. For protection they use shield or turban and throwing colors and stones on each others to enjoy this festival of colors. In jaisalmer region people hit with tiny stones and wish Holi festival.
Flowers Holi :
Flowers holi is popular in the temples of Mathura & Vrindavan but in Rajasthan also it is played at some places. It’s a special Holi celebration of Jaipur Govind dev ji temple where people celebrate holi with colorful flower petals.
Sheetala Saptami :
Sheetala saptami comes after seven days of Holi celebration. This day is dedicated to goddess Sheetala. People cook special food one day before and eat that food on saptami day without making it hot. In some areas holi celebration is going on this day also, People play with gulal, colors or with water.
Rang Teras :
Rang Teras is usually celebrate in Chittorgarh region. In chittorgarh one of the king was expired on ‘Dhulandi’ so mostly people do not play colors on that day, instead of dhulandi they play on saptami or Rang Teras. That place has a collector declares holiday on Rang Teras.
– Kriti @Brightway
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