In the night before Holi, people gather together, perform religious rituals usually in front of a bonfire, and then pray for the destruction of their internal evil. The next morning, people start the real carnival, by smearing each other with colored powders and drenching each other in open streets, parks, and grounds outside temples and buildings. And sometimes water guns and water-filled balloons are used for fun.
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There are groups of people sing and dance from place to place carrying drums and other instruments. People will also visit their families and friends to color each other, and then share Holi delicacies. People playing Holi in a temple in India. Holi is an important festival observed across the whole India, a variety of activities are held during it.
The celebration is seen in every nook and cranny of these cities, so there will be no worries missing out the event. The Holi festival is widely celebrated across India with different customs and celebrations in each region. Then where is the best place for Holi India? Different strokes for different folks. It depends on what you want to experience. On the morning of Holi Festival, Delhi ushers in a grand carnival, a large number of people, young and old, men and women, go out to the streets, smear colored powders and water to each other, sing and dance, chant and enjoy Holi delicacies, and say "Holi hai It is Holi!
The best place to celebrate Holi in Delhi is the residential neighborhoods in South Delhi, where you can join the residents in a wonderful traditional celebration. Held in New Delhi, it is a carnival with non-toxic colors, street food, thandai a yogurt drink with spices , dance and music from folk to rock music to get everyone in the mood.
There are also many Holi parties with live performances, music, dance, colors and more held in many places in Delhi to celebrate the spirit of Holi. Tip: Avoid backpacker area in Delhi, e. The Jaipur Elephant Festival is usually celebrated annually on the eve of or the day of Holi, featuring elephant beauty contests, elephant polo and elephant dance.
It starts with a traditional procession of elephants lovingly painted and beautifully decorated with glittering ornaments and embroidered velvets. However, it has been canceled since , due to protest from animal rights groups. Rajasthan Tourism organizes a special event for visitors on the lawns of Khasa Kothi Hotel on the morning of Holi as an alternative of the Elephant Festival.
The event features local Rajasthani folk music and the colored powders, but no elephants. You can take part in the event even you are not a guest of the hotel. In Agra, Holi is celebrated in more or less the same way as in its neighboring places like Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana. A pottery pot filled with buttermilk or other dairies is hung high with a rope in the street.
Then group of boys and men form a pyramid by balancing on each other's backs or shoulders to reach and break the pot with the top person's head, while girls and women surround the human pyramid, sing songs and sprinkle colored water to them to distract them and make their job harder.
Udaipur is also a great place to embrace the true spirit of Holi and experience Holi in the most luxurious settings. On the eve of Holi, there will be a grand and elaborate procession of royal band, decorated horses, etc. Later, the sacred fire will be lit and a Holika statue will be burnt. It features folk dances, singing, drums, cocktails, and an elaborate dinner and fireworks, and attended by dignitaries, guests and foreign tourists.
Join in the royal celebrations of the festival with Udaipur's Mewar royal family, and you will have a unique and memorable experience. Holi Festival in Pushkar, a small holy town in Rajasthan, begins in the eve of Holi with a big bonfire. Local men gather around an unlit bonfire on a square, throw garlands and wooden branches onto the fire, and then light the bonfire. Soon the flames grow higher than two stories. After the flames die out, everyone brings pieces of burning embers to their home, which symbolizes bringing good luck to the home.
The color-throwing festivities start early in the morning of Holi. A dance party is held in the central square of Pushkar with everyone covered with beautiful colors. In addition to Holi, Pushkar celebrates the annual Camel Fair in which thousands of camels gather on this beautiful desert town. In Varanasi, the holy city of India, people celebrate Holi with much fervor and enthusiasm.
In Holika Dahan, the day before Holi, people light a bonfire, throw dung cakes and wood into the fire and offer grain to the fire god.
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They also throw the paste called ubtan into the fire after using it to rub their bodies. The practice is believed can keep them disease-free for the rest of the year. They also make a tilak on their forehead with the Holika ash. In the day of Holi, people play with colors till noon. Some people play with mud instead. In the evening, they gather near the ghats to greet and chat with each other, sing and dance. It includes Holika Puja, and offering gulal colored powder to the deity.
Holi is also a major festival and a break from the hectic life in Mumbai. People celebrate it by hanging high a pot of buttermilk, and then men climb on top of one another to break the pot. The one who breaks the pot is named Holi King of the year.
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In Bollywood, many actors and actresses celebrate it with colors. There are also a lot of Holi parties held mostly by hotels and resorts across the city, but most of them require admission fees. People enjoying the Holi Festival. Note: in other cities including those mentioned above except Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, Holi is celebrated almost exclusively by locals, and no special program is arranged for foreign tourists to play Holi.
We can arrange special programs for you to play Holi during your India tour if you like. While Holi is quite a spectacle to witness, it is worth noting that, it is not for everyone. The streets of India are often extremely crowded and the atmosphere is almost crazy. It is suggested not to participate Holi in the streets. In fact, many hotels in India offer Holi packages that include Holi parties and other celebrations for guests to play colors and enjoy Holi in a comfortable way. Crowds of people gathering in streets to celebrate the Holi.
To make your Holi a safe and joyful India tour , here are some tips:. During the festival, young Indian males who over drink bhang and other intoxicants may inappropriately touch women. They are often in a group and are hard to deal with. On my 2 nd day in India, I was riding my motorbike along the beach and exploring new areas. In the distance, I came across a big field with people throwing paint all over each other. It took me about. I stood out like a sore thumb.
Exactly like what you see in this photo. All in all, Holi festival was an unforgettable experience and it was also a pleasant welcoming into India. Hey Drew, so glad to read that you enjoyed your first holi experience. Thanks You!
Holi Festival: Holika Dahan is on 20th March 12222
Hey, I love reading your artical. Thank you for sharing your experience. Read more bout holi — theera. Hey Drew, glad to know you liked the festival of Holi. But, did you forget to mention the delicacies that are made on this festival? I mean have you not tried gujiya and dahi bhalle??????
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India is a unique confluence of festivals, where you are endowed with many types of festivals. One of those festival festival is Holi.
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The tourist destination you mention in your blog was so good.