Celebate Holi at Mathura & Vrindavan with Surya Tour & Travels ,Lucknow
Planning to celebrate the Holi festival in India at Mathura and Vrindavan in 2019, there is no need to worry as we will plan out your perfect tour for your celebration and visual delight of the festival of colours.
Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. It is also sometimes called as the “festival of love” as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feeling towards each other. The great Indian festival lasts for a day and a night, which starts in the evening of Purnima or the Full Moon Day in the month of Falgun. It is celebrated with the name Holika Dahan or Choti Holi on first evening of the festival and the following day is called Holi. In different parts of the country it is known with different names.
The vibrancy of colors is something that brings in a lot of positivity in our lives and Holi being the festival of colours is actually a day worth rejoicing. Holi is a famous Hindu festival that is celebrated in every part of India with utmost joy and enthusiasm. The ritual starts by lighting up the bonfire one day before the day of Holi and this process symbolizes the triumph of good over the bad. On the day of Holi people play with colours with their friends and families and in evening they show love and respect to their close ones with Abeer.
Popularity of Holi can be gauged from the number of names Holi has in different states. Also of great interest is the story behind each of these names.
As one moves across from one state to another, one can surely discover the myriad shades of human emotions behind the story that goes with each of these names of holi.
These stories will make you feel proud of the rich cultural diversity of India. Besides, what is to be appreciated is the underlying strong bond of unity that binds this uniquely culturally diverse country.
Even the Gods that are worshiped on Holi differ in different corners of the country. The way the festival is celebrated also differs but the spirit is same – the one of love and brotherhood. Inspite of their uniqueness in different states, the festival is considered to be the one which enhances the secular fabric of India.
Mathura & Vrindavan Holi in Traditional Style
Lathmar Holi at Barsana and Nandgaon
Dates: 15th March (Barsana) & 16 March (Nandgaon) 2019
This is a rather peculiar style of Holi celebrations where women chase men and beat them up with Lathis (sticks), and it’s called Lathmar Holi. There are two towns which celebrate this festival with zest and these are Barsana and Nandgaon.
In what is known as the hub of holi in India – Barsana, Holi is known as Lathmaar Holi. Sounds violence?? There is more violence than the name signals off. The stick is in the hands of the women on this day and the men need to work a lot to save themselves from the immensely charged up womenfolk.
The birth place of Lord Krishna’s beloved Radha, Barsana celebrates Holi with extreme enthusiasm as Krishna was famous for playing pranks on Radha and gopis. In fact, it was Krishna who started the tradition of colours by first applying colour on Radha’s face.
Womenfolk, of Barsana it seems, after thousands of centuries want to take a sweet revenge of that prank of Krishna. Even men have not left their mischief and are still eager to apply colour on the women of Barsana.
Following the tradition, men of Nandgaon, the birthplace of Krishna, come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana, but instead of colours they are greeted with sticks.
Completely aware of what welcome awaits them in Barsana, men come fully padded and try their best to escape from the spirited women. Men are not supposed to retaliate on the day. The unlucky ones are forcefully led away and get a good thrashing from the women. Further, they are made to wear a female attire and dance in public. All in the spirit of Holi.
The next day, it is the turn of men of Barsana. They reciprocate by invading Nandgaon and drench the womenfolk of Nandgaon in colours of kesudo, naturally occurring orange-red dye and palash. This day, women of Nadagow beat the invaders from Barsana. It is a colourful site.
Phoolon wali Holi, Vrindavan
Date: 17th March 2019
On the Ekadashi before Holi, the Banke Bihari temple at Vridnavan celebtrates a unique Holi which is not celebrated with conventional dry or wet colors, but with flowers, and hence the name Phoolon wali holi (Flowers’ Holi). The event is not as popular as the other events, but is quickly getting it’s due.
The gates of the temple open around 4pm and the Flower’s Holi starts right after that. However, unlike other Holi festivities this is a short affair of just about 15-20 minutes during which flowers are thrown at the devotees by the temple priests. If you are not on time, it’s very easy to miss it. In case you planning to capture it with your camera, reach early and be at the gate just when it opens.
Widow’s Holi, Vrindavan
Date: 18 March 2019
Widows in India have always led a difficult life. They were often banished form their homes and were forced to live in ashrams in Varanasi and Vrindavan. They wore white clothes and never played with colours. A few years back the widows of Pagal Baba Widow Ashram, Vrindavan decided to break this convention and play with colors.
Though it started only two years back, it’s already a must-do event during Holi celebrations. If you reach early and have time, do make a visit and meet them. I am not sure, but if possible, do play with them as well…always good to spread love on festivals 🙂
Holi at Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan
Date: 20th March 2019
Banke Bihari is the hub of Holi festivities in Vridavan – believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The event here takes place just a day before the main Holi festival. The temple opens up its doors to all visitors to come and play Holi with the lord himself. The priest throw colors and holy water and the crowd chants in unison. Its an unbelievable experience to be a part of this event.
Holi procession in Mathura
Date: 20th March 2019
After the Holi festivities in Vrindavan get over around 2pm, head out to Mathura to participate in the colourful Holi procession. The procession starts at Vishram Ghat and get over a little after the Holi Gate. Its best to catch it in the street connecting the two landmarks.
About ten vehicles decorated with flowers, and some even with kids dressed up as Radha-Krishna, participate in it. 3pm is a good time to go there and be a part of it. Everyone plays Holi with everyone else and its futile to resist. Get drenched a few times and get completely coloured and chances are that you will be left to enjoy (or take photographs) by yourself after that.
Evening Holika Dahan: The evening after the street procession is the time for Holika dehan – or burning of the effigy of Holika. The biggest such effigy is burnt at the Holi Gate and there are many cultural programs as well. I would suggest you skip this one and go inside the lanes towards ghats. Each small cross-road will have a small intimate function where women come and pray. The prayers are quick and if you are not around you can easily miss it as well. R
Holi festivities in Mathura
Date:21st March 2019
On the big Holi day, the biggest festival takes place at the historical Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura. However, I would recommend starting the day much earlier at 7am. Head out to Vishram ghat and catch the process of making Bhang by the priests. If possible, maybe take a glass yourself as well (not more).
The gates of the temple open at 10am and there is already a big crowd outside the gates by then playing Holi and colouring anyone who dares cross the road. Most of it is fun, but things can very quickly get ugly. Mostly local men and kids participate, and women are again conspicuous by their absence. However, there are many traveler women who do participate.
The atmosphere inside the temple is really nice actually Unlike Banke Bihari in Vridnavan, the scale of Holi is smaller and the place is much friendlier. Priest play Dhols and you can even join the dancing there. Inside the temple, more women play Holi.
To Know about other places to visit in Mathura-Vrindavan