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A Vibrant Sprinkle of Holi

A Vibrant Sprinkle of Holi in the Sacrosanctity of Lord Krishna’s Homestead

Location - Mathura and Vrindavan
Date March 21st, 2019
Highlights - Playing with coloured powder and water, music and dance performances, Krishna-Lila enactment by locals, Burning of a holy pyre on the Holi Eve, religious proceedings at the bedecked temples and delicious sweets and drinks

Being counted among the most popular festivals of the country, Holi is widely celebrated with an unmatchable alacrity in the different regions in a unique style and a special touch of their own. But, the fact remains that there is no place other than the small religious cities of Mathura- Vrindavan, which can endow Holi the flamboyant status it enjoys today for the festival of Holi upholds a phenomenal celebratory time for the people. Every year in the Phalguna month (Feb- March), the resplendent festivities of Holi attract thousands of people not just from within the country but from all over the world. The origin of this festival dates back to the legends of Radha and Lord Krishna and this is exactly the reason why the festival finds an exceptional association with Mathura- Vrindavan, the land of Lord Krishna.

Within these two cities in particular, the main areas which are quite interesting and proactive in the merrymaking and fun activities during Holi include places like Varsana, Nandagram, Phalen, Dauji (Baldeo), Shantiniketan and renowned temples such as Bakai- Bihari Temple, Madan Mohan Temple, Govind Dev Temple, Radharamana Temple and several more. The highlight of the Holi festival is throwing of coloured powder and coloured water on one another by the men and women, thus, creating a fun-frolic atmosphere of love and spiritual devotion all over. This novel tradition of splashing colours on Holi is rooted to the legendary romantic tales of Radha- Krishna. The myth says that when Lord Krishna used to be envious of Radha’s fair coloured skin in contrast to his darker skin tone, Krishna’s mother, Yashoda, teasingly suggested him to paint Radha’s face all colourful with gulal and to which, Krishna mischievously complied. And keeping this norm alive till date, young men and women apply coloured powder on each other’s faces to rejoice love, joy and friendship.

During the festival, people are totally submerged in a boisterous mood to colour, play pranks, eat, drink, sing and dance losing themselves in the revelry of the occasion. The gobs of bright colours, a romantic aura with feelings of love and friendship along with a spirit of holy devotion glistens the Krishna-nagri at the time. Also, the Gulal- kund in Braj, a small pretty lake near the Govardhan Mountain, is another interesting space for people to commemorate this jubilant event and the locals further spice it up by performing the Krishna-Lila drama and enactments for the visitors. Many other cultural and social activities are also organized inviting full participation of the people.

The convivialities reflect opulence at every point and it is certainly not a one day affair, rather the merriment commences a whole week before the main day. Specially, one day prior to Holi, huge born fires are lit happily, which is called the Holika Dahan, a rite performed as an assertion of good over evil in the universe. This ritual also originates from the mythical tale of Bhagat Prahlad, a Lord Vishnu devotee, whose selfless devoutness for Lord Vishnu over his own father, was duly rewarded by way of saving his life from the fire, instead turning into the end of his evil father’s sister Holika. This reiterates the winning of virtue over vice and the prevalence of universal integrity. Such is the vehemence and hoo-hah of the festival here in the name of their much revered Lord Krishna that it makes Mathura- Vrindavan undoubtedly a must visit for all the people travelling to the country during Holi.