As Holi heralds spring, it is celebrated as Basant Utsav or The Festival Of Spring in its floral splendour in Tagore’s Shantiniketan. Women adorn themselves in floral ornaments and with garlands of the red “palash” flowers in their tresses singing the maestro’s innumerable memorable songs as they pass through the entire campus. Holi has been closely associated with the songs and dances and the festival has an enviable repertoire in folk music in India. In Manipur too, Holi is marked with huge processions being taken out in streets by the young and old. People are seen singing music and enjoying the spirit of Holi.
When the colours of the rainbow are spread in the earth below, we know it is Holi. This festival of colours is the epitome of all celebrations in India. A harbinger of Spring, Holi also means the end of bone-chilling winters in some parts of North India. Celebrated in the Phalgun month of the Hindu calendar (February-March), the pleasant weather perfectly sets the stage for fun, frolic and unadulterated merriment. This is one festival which is eagerly awaited by children, youth and even the elders in every household. Immortalised by Bollywood, this festival makes every heart flutter with happiness and joy.
Why is it must to celebrate this grand Festival: The festival is all about blurring differences and coming together to celebrate the spirit on togetherness. The festival starts by sprinkling the colours or ‘gulal’ on the feet of Gods and elders as a way to get their blessings before starting the revelry of unlimited fun and mischief. As the colours of Holi wrap people in each other's hues, it also brings together communities to enjoy the change of seasons and appreciate nature in its full glory. Like every other Indian festival, Holi too marks the beginning of an auspicious time period for all ceremonies according to the lunar calendar as followed by Hindus.
This colourful festival is celebrated right across the country with fanfare in its own unique style. While in Punjab, it takes the name Holla Mohalla and displays the ancient martial arts of the Sikhs, the coastline of Goa celebrates Shigmo where ethnicities and cultural boundaries are broken by processions which showcase traditional instruments and cultural activities are put on display making Holi a truly amazing display of India’s kaleidoscopic cultural heritage.