Holi is a spring festival and is celebrated in different ways in different parts of India. It is more popular in North India where the festival actually originated. The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The festival used to be celebrated with natural colours derived from neem and turmeric. Today, people use artificial and synthetic colours that may even affect one’s skin health adversely.
Just like each state of India is very different, so is the way each of these states celebrate Holi. Here is a glimpse of how colourful Holi is different parts of Western India:
Celebration of Holi in Gujarat
Gujarat celebrates Holi as a two-day long festival. On the first night, ‘Holika Dahan’ ritual is executed by burning a bonfire. A coconut and corn are offered to this fire as a part of the ritual. The celebration mainly includes applying colours. People in some parts of Gujarat also hang a pot full of buttermilk and groups of men break it as a part of the celebration. This ritual is similar to one carried out during Gokulashtami in Maharashtra.
Special Holi Delicacies
Meetha Poodas are a very popular Holi recipe among Gujaratis. They also enjoy some lovely chat dishes during Holi. The women in the households gather together to prepare these tempting foodstuffs.
Gujaratis dress in white lehenga with colourful blouse for the occasion of Holi. This makes the colours of Holi more evident.
Celebration of Holi in Maharashtra
Maharashtra celebrates Holi in great style. People in all strata of society celebrate Holi and enjoy it equally. Children get holiday from schools on the day of Holi. They enjoy playing Holi with colours and water balloons. Even in Maharashtra, Holika Dahan is practised. People living in a common area gather and burn the Holika to get rid of evil and start afresh.
Special Holi Delicacies
Maharastra blossoms in unique shades during the Holi festival. The Maharashtrians prepare sweets like Shankar Paara and Puran Poli during the Holi festival. They share sweets with near and dear ones to show the love and togetherness.
Maharashtra is one state that shelters people from many different states and cultures. That is the reason why the only common thread that binds the dressing style in Maharashtra is variety. There is no strict dressing code during holi.
People in cities are opting for white salwar suits, colourful Kurtas and Kurtis for the occasion of Holi. They are opting for stylish ethnic attires that retain the Indian identity.
Some Changing Trends
In the past, people were not aware of the harmful effects of chemical colours. They were also ignorant about the hazards of plastic as an environmental pollutant. The growing awareness has altered the way these festivals are celebrated.
More and more people, especially in the cities, are turning towards eco-friendly colours. The wastage of an important resource like water has made many reconsider their decision of playing Holi with water. Dry yet safe Holi is a common choice especially in the cities in the western parts of India.