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Colorful celebration of Holi and Dhulivandan festivals in India

Culture Indore, India - 08 March 2012

Indian people play with colored powders and paint for Holi and Dhulivandan in Madhya Pradesh celebration on March 7 and 8, 2012.

Holi a famous festival in India. Dhulivandan, also known as Dhuli Vandan, is an another festival which coincides with the Holi festival. It is celebrated the following day. Dhuli Vandan takes place in Maharashtra while the rest of the country celebrate Holi.

Our contributor writes :

“Holi is a vibrant festival in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is a carnival of colors and costumes. Men are wearing new clothes and spend time with their loved ones”
A traditional fire is burnt on the night of the Holi festival to symbolise a destruction of all evil. This ritual is known as Holika Dahan and involves burning of Holika. The day is also known as Chhota Holi (small Holi). Sometimes an official priest presides over the traditional fire. A coconut is thrown into the fire as an offering. Some people smear the ashes left from the fire the next day, as a kind of purification of the body since the ashes are considered to be holy.

To the inhabitants of Maharashtra the festival of colors is commonly known as the Shimga or the Rangpanchami. This carnival is very popular among the fisher folks and is accompanied with merry making and drinking. While they dance the fisher folks are relieved of all their pains and qualms; they seem to incarnate into a new rhythm of life.

Dhulivandan is important in Maharashtra and Goa. It has great significance for agriculture and farming communities. The festival falls on the first day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in Phalgun month. Marathi people believe that playing with colored powders colors and Soil (Dhuli) is an auspicious activity in north India (Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Buhar, etc…) on Dhulivandan day.

“Bhang” is a drink unique to the festival of Holi. Made from a mixture of milk and the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. It is generally flavoured slightly with cardamom, nutmeg and cloves and a bit of rosewater. It gives a crazy high and people who drink excess Bhang totally go down under. In northern States, the Bhang is mixed with a variety of ingredients, such as watermelon seeds, almonds, sugar, saunf, and the drink is known as “Thandai”.

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