Holi is an occasion of joyous celebration. The word Holi in itself will remind you of bright colours with water, but there are other interesting ways in which holi is celebrated throughout India. Do you want to change your style of celebrating Holi this time? Take a look at the different exciting ways to celebrate Holi.
Matka ritual is another interesting way of celebrating holi. People from Maharashtra, Punjab and other northern states celebrate holi by way of matka ritual. An earthen pot (matka or dahi handi) full with a mixture of milk, ghee and dry fruits is hung with ropes at a great height. Young men form a human pyramid, which a man climbs to reach the pot and break it. To prevent the men from breaking the dahi handi, women throw buckets of water on them. Breaking of the dahi handi is concluded with prize distribution. Devotees of Lord Krishna hold a strong belief that the broken pieces of dahi handi keep evil away from home. This type of holi celebration can be a lot of fun, but the participants must pay attention to their safety. The fallout of the human pyramid can be disastrous.
Holi in Vrindavan is still played with real flower petals, which are completely safe and scented. This kind of holi celebration prevents one from the demerits of synthetic colours. Yellow colour is prepared with yellow chrysanthemums and marigold. Dried leaves of bael fruit (stone apple) also give a shinning yellow colour. Green colour is made using spinach (palak), coriander, mint and tomato leaves. Coloured water is made by mixing two spoons of mehendi in one litre of water. Sandalwood powder is used for making red colour, which is good for the skin. To strengthen the effects of the colurs, you can boil all their sources. Play holi this way and save yourself from adverse effects of artificial colours and sprays.
A special form of traditional festivity, Lath mar holi is played in Barsana near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Lathmar Holi is celebrated with the belief that during holi, Lord Krishna used to visit Radha's (his beloved) village and playfully tease her and her friends. This form of holi is unique. While playing lath mar holi, women chase men away with sticks. Men sing inciting songs to invite the attention of women. To keep men at bay, women use long staves called "lathis" and men protect themselves with shields. People of Barsana participate in lath mar holi. During intervals, they are served thandai, a cold drink made with bhang (cannabis). While performing lath mar, rose petals and coloured powder are showered on the pilgrims. If you are planning to celebrate holi with lath mar activity, make sure the “lathis” do not land on your heads!
Have a safe and exciting Holi!
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