STORY: Indians smeared each other with colour powder and drench fellows in coloured water as they celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi on Monday (March 13).
Celebrated in the month of Phagun (February-March) according to the Hindu calendar, Holi is associated with the uninhibited expression of love and affection.
Holi revelers in northern holy town of Varanasi city celebrated the festival by beating traditional drums called ‘dholaks’ and singing folk songs.
People along with foreign tourists got drenched in coloured water as they danced to upbeat tracks.
“Here the whole environment is very enjoyable and we all have come in the town of Lord Baba Vishwanath and are enjoying the festival of colours,” said a local.
Foreign tourists, who participated in the festival for the first time, were also seen dancing around the streets in merriment.
“It’s fantastic. It is first time in India, first time doing Holi. It’s very good fun, everyone is very friendly, very happy today,” said a tourist from England, Emiley.
In national capital New Delhi, there was less movement of vehicles on its main routes, which are known for its endless snarls of smoke emitting engines. But, streets in residential colonies were filled with locals holding pichkari (water gun) and gulal (pink color).
“Holi spreads message to clean our mind of discrimination based on caste, creed, region and religion and smear ourselves in the colour of nature. We from Talkatora want to give message to whole country that this is not only the festival of colours, but our cultural heritage which gives us a message also,” said a local, Anil.
Similar scenes were played out in Bhubaneswar city of India’s eastern Odisha state. People from all walks of life were seen dancing to the beats of drum and throwing colours on each other.
Peoples of all age groups visited the temples to offer prayers and some even consumed the traditional drink known as ‘Bhang.’
Holi is seen as the only festival in India where people thoroughly get drenched in colours forgetting the societal bifurcation.
The exuberant festival is associated with the eternal love of Hindu lord Krishna and his consort Radha. Celebrated at the onset of spring, it also holds a mythological significance – that of the triumph of good over evil.
Holi also celebrates the survival of Prince Prahlada, whose devotion to the God, kept him safe even when he was sent to death by sitting in the midst of a bonfire.