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Rang De Basanti!

All you need to know about Holi in India

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The festival of colors known as Holi in India will be celebrated on March 8, 2023. The Hindu festival, that signals the onset of spring is marked by lighting of a bonfire on the eve followed by people smearing colors on friends and family.

Why is Holi celebrated?

According to Hindu Mythology, the festival celebrates the death of Holika, who was the sister of Demon King Hiranyakashyapu and had immunity against fire. When her brother ordered her to kill his son Prahlad, for worshipping Lord Vishnu, Holika sat in a pyre with Prahlad on her lap. However, she burned to her death while Prahlad emerged from the pyre unharmed. The bonfire lit the night before the festival marks the victory of good over evil.

Types of Holi

Lathmar Holi

Celebrated in Uttar Pradesh's Barsana and Nandgaon region, Lathmar Holi makes for a hilarious festival tradition as women playfully chase men with lathis (wooden sticks).

Phoolon ki Holi

This famous holi is played in Braj near Mathura, where people shower rose, lotus and marigold flower petals on each other.

Basanta Utsab/Dolyatra

In West Bengal, Holi is celebrated on the full moon day, that’s a day before Holi, as ‘Basanta Utsab’ or Dol yatra. Young people start the festival by applying color on the pictures of the deceased in the family and then on the feet of the elders as a mark of respect.

Laddoo Holi

Commonly played  in North India, Laddoo Holi involves smearing colours on one another and tossing laddoos around. The sweets are are considered to be blessings from the lord.