Holi, the festival of colors is also known as festival of love because people get unite together and forget all types of negative feeling towards each other. Holi is top celebrated and eminent festival across the India. It is celebrated with immense joy on the Poornima of Phalgun month. Holi is known with various names in different part of the India.

Significance of Holi

Apart from such a colourful festival, there are various characteristics of Holi which makes it much significant for our day to day lives. Though most of the people don’t have idea of it but close look and deep thought will tell the significance of Holi in lot of way from socio-cultural, religious to biological.

Cultural Significance

Celebration of Holi reminds people about the power of the truth and victory of good over evil. The story of Demon King Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad points to fact that anything is possible with extreme devotion towards God.

This is extremely important for today’s society when people follow badly practices for little gains and also torture who is honest. Holi reminds the people to believe in truth and honesty and fight against the evil spirit.

At the time of Holi, farms are in full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. This gives a people nice reason to delight, and merge themselves in the spirit of Holi.

Social Significance

Holi brings the society together and strengthens the social prospect of entire country. Everyone from all religion like to be a part of such a colouful and blissful festival. The tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on Holi and forget any feeling of adversity. Everybody forget the diversity between the rich and poor and celebrate Holi together with a spirit of brotherhood. In the evening everyone visit their friends and relatives with gifts, sweets and greetings same like the Diwali.

Biological Significance

It is great to note down that Holi is significant for our lives and body in lot of ways apart from joy and fun. During this time of the year, people have a tendency to feel lazy due to the change from the cold to heat in the environment. To counteract this tardiness of the body, people sing loudly helps to revive the system of the human body. Spreading of colours on the body has a great impact and biologists believe abeer penetrates the body and enters into the pores which make strengthening the ions, good health and beauty in the body.

Scientific reason behind Holika Dahan is during overlapping of winter and spring, growth of bacteria in the atmosphere and human body. When Holika is burnt with natural drug and people perform Parikrima around it, the heat from the fire kills the bacteria in the body thus, cleansing it. Also ash of Holi is applied on forehead on next day will help in good health. Our Rishi makes this process in such a natural way that overall environment becomes the clean.

अहकूटा भयत्रस्तैः कृता त्वं होलि बालिशै | अतस्वां पूजयिष्यामि भूति-भूति प्रदायिनीम्‌ ||

Celebration of Holi

Holi is celebrated in India since long time but the popularity of Holi celebrations yet not reduced but rising year on year. To enhance the festive spirit of Holi, tradition like bhang, Thandai, Gujiya, Malpua, Puran Pori, dance to the rhythm of dholak and sing traditional folk songs in loudest are added.

Celebration of Holi with color is started by the Lord Shree Krishna. Lord Krishna was jealous of Radha's fair complexion as he was dark. Bal Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about this injustice of nature. To calm down the child, she asked Krishna to apply colour on Radha's face and change her complexion as per his choice. Krishna much like the idea and implemented it. Thus full fledge festival started celebrating with colors. Kids and adults spread gulal and abeer on each other. Colorful waters are sprinkled on people and kids are found playing with pichkari and water balloons.

Holi brings a lot of fun and enjoyment for people across the world. People happily follow all traditions and rituals of Holi. In evenings people visit friends and relatives and exchange sweets and warm wishes for Holi.

Holi in Uttar Pradesh

The most famous state to celebrate the Holi is Uttar Pradesh as Lord Shree Krishna played holi with Radha. But celebration is not just in mathura and Vrindavan. Every part of state gets same kind of involvement on Holi.

Holi in Mathura-Vrindavan

People across the world gather at Mathura-Vrindavan every year to feel the spirit of Holi in the land of Lord Shree Krishna. People remember the story of Holi associated with Radha and Krishna. The main feeling of this fun was love and devotion. With massively strong bonding with Lord Krishna, people of Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate Holi for over a week. Each Krishna temple celebrates Holi on a different day.

The key interest of tourist is the celebrations which take place at the famous Bakai-Bihari Temple and Prem Mandir at Vrindavan. People found with great devotion and saturated in the colors on Holi. Another place for Holi celebration is Gulal-Kund in Braj, a small but beautiful lake near Govardhan mountain

Holi in Barsana

Barsana is the birth place of Radha, so the key place to celebrate Holi. Celebration take place in different way, men from Gokul, come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana and hope of raising their flag over Shri Radhikaji's temple. But, instead of colours they are greeted with sticks by the girls. So Holi get its new name here-Lathmaar Holi. In the combat the men who is captured, forcefully led down and get thrashing from the women. Additional, they have to wear female dress and dance in public. On next day reverse game played.

Holi in Andhra Pradesh

Celebrations of Holi in South Indian states are not as luxurious as North Indian states. But it is noticeable in Andhra Pradesh; youngsters play with dry colors and seek elder’s blessings by putting gulal and abeer on their feet. Banjara, the tribe, performed lovely dance and celebrate holi.

Holi in Assam

Holi is known as Doul festival in Assam; specifically it is tremendous occasion for people of Barpeta. They celebrate with great happiness and colors. Holi song, praised of Lord Shree Krishna is most popular in heart of Assames. It is celebrated for three to five days. Mathura Das Bura Ata at Barpeta was the first man who celebrates Doulutsava in vaikunth style. From this Doul festival celebration is being carried on in the same satriya parampara.

Holi in Manipur

In Manipur festival celebration continues for six days from full moon day of Phalguna. Holi Festival is merged with traditional and very old Yaosang festival of Manipur with introduction of vaishanvism.

Devotees, wear traditional white and yellow turbans and sing devotional songs in the Krishna temples. They also play gulal with each other in front of the temple. A special Manipuri style dance called 'Thabal Chongba' is associated with Holi. Thabal, means moonlight and Chongba means dance.

Holi in Bengal

In West Bengal, Holi is known as 'Dol Jatra', 'Dol Purnima' or the 'Swing Festival'. The festival is celebrated by placing the idols of Krishna and Radha on a charmingly decorated palanquin and taken round the main streets of the city. Women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. All this time men keep spraying colored water and color powder, 'abeer' at them.

Holi in Bhil Tribes of North West India

The Bhils in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have their own way to celebrate Holi. It is interesting to note that these tribes have keeps Hindu traditions. Villagers bring kesudo and mango spring flowers and grains signifying new life.

Holi in Bihar

Holi is celebrated with the same passion in Bihar like north India. Children and the youth take extreme delight in the festival. Though the festival is usually played with colors but at some places people enjoy playing holi with mud. People sing folk songs at high arena and dance to the tune with dholak. To enhance the momentum of Holi, bhang is consumed with a variety of mouth watering delicacies such as pakoras and thandai.

Holi in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is in centre of India and full of forests and greenery. The mood of people on Holi is totally different. As nature is all set to encourage the celebration. People living are very down to earth with their own practices and beliefs in Chhattisgarh. They have a simple lifestyle and celebrate Holi with old rituals in mind.

Holi in Delhi

Holi celebrations in Delhi start with 'Tilak' and followed by endless music and perceived musical Holi. Thandai is a special drink of Holi prepared with pure water, sugar, almonds, milak, malai, saffron poppy seeds and more. Gujiya is a sweet dumpling added of khoya and dry fruits. Laddoo is a very common and famous sweet in India. Description of Holi is incomplete without the mention of Bhang. It is usually consumed in the form of laddoo or as thandai. Consumption of bhang adds greatly to the revelry as people get high on it.

Holi in Goa

In Goa spring festival is known as Shigmo. The festival is celebrated with all religious traditions. The festival is attended with fanfare, performance on drumbeats. Vibrant colors of gulal and neel are richly used. Shigmotav is celebrated with performances of groups in the form of cultural dramas.

Holi in Gujarat

Youth of Gujarat are high on the spirit of Holi. So much energy can be seen amongst the boys and girls prepared group called 'tolis' in Gujarati. Saturated in colored waters boys gladly warn everyone to take care of their pots of butter and milk. This tradition is origined from the Lord Krishna who was known to steal butter and milk. Tradition of breaking earthen pot full of buttermilk and tied high on a rope is observed. Lots of people participate in forming a human pyramid, in order to reach the pot.

Holi in Haryana

Holi is also known as 'Dulandi Holi' in Hariyana. People apply colours on each other and greet each other. Special social tradition is followed; All Bhabhi gets a social sanction to beat their devars and make them pay the price of all the mischief they played on them for the entire year on Holi.

Holi in Himachal Pradesh

Holi in Himachal Pradesh is celebrated almost same like rest of North India. The key fact to mark about Holi in Himachal Pradesh is that thousands of people gather at the holy shrine of Ponta Sahib in Sirmour district on the banks of Yamuna. This is highly recognized holy place and people have great faith in it.

Holi in Jammu and Kashmir

The Holi festival celebration in Jammu and Kashmir shows the true nature, tradition and culture of India. It showcases how people from all cultures and religions come together on an auspicious day.

Holi in Jharkhand

Holi is one of the most esteemed festivals of Jharkhand. People wish each other with charmed feeling of love and harmony and vibrant colours. Some people include mud along with colours for playing Holi. In Dhanbad, grand celebration take place.

Holi in Karnataka

Holi is known with the name Kaamana Habba in Karnataka. The famous tradition is, male members of the family are supposed to lift cow dung and logs from the neighboring houses during the day. Girls are supposed to help their mother in making Holige, which is offered to kamadeva in Yagya. Boys dances around the yagya during the offering to Kamdeva

Holi in Kerala

In Kerala Holi is known with name Manjal Kuli and celebrated in various temple and mainly in Gosripuram Thiruma’s Konkani Temple.The Kudumbi community of Kerala celebrates the festival in a span of four days at around 20 temples.

Holi in Madhya Pradesh

Same level of tempo has been created in entire Madhya Pradesh like the northern state of India on Holi. Holi is celebrated continuously for five days in Indore. The last day is called the Pancham Holi. The tradition has its extraordinary roots along with Maratha.

Holi in Maharashtra

Holi is also named as Shimga or Rangpanchami in Maharashtra. People celebrate holi in own grand style. On fifth day people plays with colors. The noticeable mouthwatering delicacy- Puranpoli is another key part. Holi is most popular amongst the fisher folk. They celebrate it in on a large scale by singing, dancing. Great excitement on Holi is breaking the pot of butter milk. Groups also called tolis form huge human pyramids to break the pot hung high on the street.

Holi in Nagaland

In Nagaland Holi celebrations is more region specific with age old traditions and beliefs. In Dimapur, people come out of their houses dresses in old clothes. They spread the colours on each other and exchange holi wish.

Holi in Orissa

In Orissa, holi is celebrated with; the palanquin of Lord Shree Jagannath is carried out in the main streets of the city. Devotees take turn to swing it while women dance around it and sing devotional songs. During this men spread colour powder and abeer in air. Games like Dandi Khela are also played to mark the occasion great. A special tent called 'Jhoolan Mandap' is build to place the idol of Lord Jagannath at night. Next morning abeer is applied on forehead of Lord Jagannath.

Holi in Pondicherry

Pondicherry celebrates Holi in a very decent manner. People play Holi with organic colours only. Use of organic colours to play Holi is really required now a day. People playing safe and organic Holi and message behind this is to save environment from chemical mixed color.

Holi in Punjab

Punjab is known for their love for life, they celebrate Holi in their own style and elan. It is known as Hola Mohalla. They showcase their martial arts specially 'kushti', sword fencing, horse riding etc on Holi and celebrate Holi with colors in evening. Delicious halwas, puris, gujias etc enhance the festivities.

Holi in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is another state along with Uttar Pradesh, where Holi is the main festival and celebrated with great joy and for many days. Even Royal family also celebrates the holi with immense spirit. Braj Festival is planned in honor of Lord Krishna few days before Holi. Singing and performing the raslila showing the immortal love-story of Radha and Krishna in villages.

Men from twelve villages gathered at Godaji village near Ajmer in Rajasthan to play gair after Holi. Each village brings his own drummer and gair groups. It is the scenic location surrounded by hills on all sides.

In Bikaner district, people from the Harsh and Vyas communities celebrate Holi by throwing water at one another from more than 300 years. The especially designed vessel called 'dolchi' made from camel skin is used.

Jaipur is known as the Pink city and is the capital of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is known as 'Rangeelo Rajasthan" because of its colorfulness and interest in celebrating every festival. On Holi, people decorate their houses with colourful flowers and draw rangolis in house.

Govind DevJi Temple, one of the oldest temples in the city celebrates holi in special manner. People celebrated Holi for one week in the temple with colors, flowers and sandalwood powder. Raas Leela of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha had been arranges in temple campus.

During the Holi Elephant Festival is held every year. Elephants were cleaned up properly and clothed in rugs and well ornamented and paintings are made on their body

Holi in Tamil Nadu

People of Tamil Nadu celebrate Holi around the legend of Kama Deva. On this day, songs are sung that tell the pathetic tale of Rati and her lamentations. Holi is known by three different names here, Kamavilas, Kaman Pandigai and Kama-Dahanam.

Stories of Holi

There are many interesting tales and myth behind the Holika Dahan as per our various holy Text. The most popular one is related to demon king HiranyaKashyap and the great devotee Prahlad. Hiranyakashyap wants to become immortal, so he had started hard penance of Lord Brahma. He pleased Lord Brahma and granted five deadly powers, neither human nor animal could kill him, neither inside the door nor outside the door, neither in day nor in night, neither by astra nor by shastra, neither in water, nor in air or land. After this boon, Hiranyakashyap thoughts that he could be killed in any way so he started torture on people, avoid prayer to Lord and behave like the Lord.

Prahlad, the son of Hiranyakashyap was the great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Demon king could not tolerate devotion of his son. He tried to kill Prahlad many times but all the time Lord Vishnu save him. Finally Hiranyakashyap thought of taking help from his sister, Holika. She has super power that she could not harm by fire and had a shawl which save her. She proposed his brother to seat with Prahlad in flames and with use of shawl she could be saved and Prahlad would be killed. But again Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad, shawl flown away and cover great devotee Prahlad thus Holika was killed in fire.

Someone claims that Srimanta Sankardeva had introduced Holi in India. Holi has a historical significance that shows victory of the evil upon good. It is message for all to take care in disorder of spring season, warmth and happiness.

होलिकामागता दृष्टवा ह्रदि हर्षन्ती मानवा : | पापमुक्तास्तु सज्जाता क्षुद्रता विलयङ्गगता ||

Finally Hiranyakashyap decided to kill Prahlad by own hand and tied with pillar and asked to call his Lord. Prahlad said Lord is everywhere and even in this pillar also. Hiranyakashyap laughed on his son’s talk, thus Lord Vishun in form of Narsimha came out from pillar and killed the Hiranyakashyap. The incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Narsimha was mix of human and animal, killed Hiranyakashyap at doorstep, with nail, put him on lap, at time of dusk. Thus boon of Lord Brahma was also taken care, Hiranyakashyap was killed and saved Prahlad and entire world from his suffering.

In some part of India, another story is related to Lord Shree Krishna and Putana. Demon king Kans had decided to kill little Lord Shree Krishna and sent Putana to kill Bal Krishna. Putana came with deadly poison, Lord Shree Krishna sucks poisoned milk along with his blood. Putana ran away burst into flames so this is celebrated by burning Putana.

Another popular legend is related to Lord Shiva, Ma Devi Parvati and god Kamdev. Demon King Tarkasur had boon that he could be killed by son of Lord Shiva Only. Lord Shiva was under deep meditation and no one had guts to breach his meditation. So all God decided to take help of Kamdev and asked for help in saving world. Kamdev was also feared of this to breach mediation of Lord Shiva but decided to take risk for wellness of world. Lord Kamdev left love arrow on Lord Shiva, this breaks the meditation of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva opened his third eye and turned Lord Kamdev into ashes.

Another story is from Mahabharata, the great sage Naradji asked for Abheydan of all people on this Purnima – Holi to Yudhisthira. So Yudhisthira told that whoever celebrates the holi, every one became happy and sin will get destroyed.

In short Holi is most celebrated festival same like Diwali in India. This festival is to burn impurities of our heart and realization of our spiritual glory and great Indian culture and tradition. The liveliness of colors brings lot of positivity and joy in our lives On Holi, people play with natural colours with friends and families participated by every age group and showcase their love for each other. To understand the real motive behind the all festival based on Vedic culture must be recognized. On this occasion we all must try to reach near to the supreme divine Lord and progress in our spiritual journey and not just making material fun attached with festival.

Holi Dates for 2019 to 2024

Year Date
2019 Thursday, 21st of March
2020 Tuesday, 10th of March
2021 Monday, 29th of March
2022 Friday, 18th of March
2023 Tuesday, 7th of March
2024 Monday, 25th of March