Holi in Braj, Dwarka, UP, Uttarakhand

Holi in Braj

Holi in Braj is the best Holi in world. Braj is land of Lord Krishna and Radha, thats why Holi celebration here is special.
The spirit of celebrations of Holi festival in Braj, can never be compared anywhere else in India.
If you like festival of color - plan a trip to Braj on Holi. Festival ceelbration here is grand and unique.
This is one of those experiences which cannot be expressed in words. It can only be expressed in photos.
The Holi celebration in Braj go on for more than 10 days.
People start celebrating in Barsana the village of Radha, six days before the actual day of Holi.
People of Nandgaon, the village of Krishna, visit the people of Barsana and they assemble in Radha Rani temple to celebrate, play with colors and sing rhymns in a ritual called Samaaj.
The splash of colors creates a unique view.

The day is followed by women of Barsana beating the men of Nandgaon with bamboo sticks, and hence this day is called Lathmar Holi.The same thing is then repeated the next day when people of Barsana visit Nandgaon.

In Gujarat, Holi is two day festival. On the evening of the first day people lit the bonfire.

People offer raw coconut, corn to the fire.

The second day is the festival of colour or "Dhuleti", celebrated by sprinkling coloured water and applying colours to each other.

Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and city wide comedy and music festivities.

The Holi celebration has its celebrative origins in Gujarat, particularly with dance, food, music, and coloured powder to offer a spring parallel of Navratri, Gujarat's Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. Falling in the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.

Holi festival in UP

Barsana, a town near Mathura in Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, celebrates Lath mar Holi in Radha Rani temple.


Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. Holi celebrated at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields.


Mathura, in the Braj region, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, here the festival lasts for sixteen days. All over the Braj region  and its nearby places like Hathras, Aligarh, Agra the Holi is celebrated in more or less same way as in Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana.


Outside Braj, in Kanpur area, Holi lasts seven days with colour. On the last day, a grand fair called Ganga Mela or the Holi Mela is celebrated. This Mela (fair) was started by freedom fighters who fought British rule in the First Indian War of Independence in 1857 under the leadership of Nana Saheb. The Mela is held at various Ghats along the banks of River Ganga in Kanpur, to celebrate Hindus and the Muslims who together resisted the British forces in the city in 1857. On the eve of Ganga Mela, all Government offices, shops, Courts generally remain closed. The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur. In Gorakhpur, the northeast district of Uttar Pradesh, this day starts with a special puja in the morning of Holi day. This day is considered to be the most colourful day of the year promoting the brotherhood among the people.


This is known as "Holi Milan" in which people visit every house and sing holi song and express their gratitude by applying coloured powder (Abeer). Holi is also considered as the beginning of the year as it occurs on the first day of new Hindu calendar year (Panchang).

Learn what to do in Uttar Pradesh ,Mathura and other UP cities

Holi in Dwarka

Holi celebration in Uttarakhand

Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand includes a musical affair. It takes different forms such as the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi and the Mahila Holi. In Baithki Holi and Khari Holi, people sing songs with a touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. Baithki Holi (बैठकी होली), also known as Nirvan Ki Holi begins from the premises of temples, where Holiyars (होल्यार) sing Holi songs, people gather to participate, along with playing classical music. The songs are sung in a particular sequence depending on the time of day; for instance, at noon the songs based on Peelu, Bhimpalasi and Sarang ragas, while evening songs are based on the ragas such as Kalyan, Shyamkalyan and Yaman.


The Khari Holi (खड़ी होली) is mostly celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon. The songs of the Khari Holi are sung by the people, who, sporting traditional white churidar payajama and kurta, dance in groups to the tune of ethnic musical instruments such as the Dhol and Hurka. In Kumaon region, the Holika pyre is known as Cheer (चीर,) which is ceremonically made in a ceremony known as Cheer Bandhan (चीर बंधन) fifteen days before Dulhendi. The Cheer is a bonfire with a green Paiya tree branch in the middle. The Cheer of every village and neighborhood is rigorously guarded as rival mohallas try to playfully steal the other's cheer. The colours used on Holi are derived from natural sources. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water. Holi is celebrated with great gusto much in the same way as all across North India.

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