Travellers come from overseas to witness the special Holi celebrations in Bank-e-Bihari temple of Vrindavan and Mathura’s Lath Maar Holi.
the festival of colours, falls on March 1-2 this year. While the entire country immerses in Holi festivities and colours, the festival has gained huge popularity across the world. Travellers come from overseas to witness the special Holi celebrations in Bank-e-Bihari temple of Vrindavan where a day is also dedicated to phoolon ki holi or Holi played with colours, and Mathura’s Lath Maar Holi, a style where women of Barsana in Mathura beat up men from adjacent town Nandgaon with sticks. The two places are photographers’ delight. Holi is also celebrated to welcome the arrival of spring season.
Several legends are associated with Holi. One of the famous one is of an evil king called Hiranyakashyap and his son Prahlad. Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, but his father did not like that. He wanted him to give up his faith in Lord Vishnu, but when Prahlad refused, he tried to kill his own son. After several attempts, Hiranyakashyap made Prahlad sit on his sister’s lap Holika, who had a blessing that she will not be burnt by fire, and set them on fire. Prahalad, with the blessing of Lord Vishnu, remain untouched, but Holika was burnt. With this legend, Holi represents the victory of good over evil and the tradition of Holika Dahan came into practice. On Holika Dahan, holy pyres are burnt on the streets and people from the communities come and pray, signifying the triumph of good over evil.