Holi, Festival Of Colors, Happy Holi, Colorful Festival, Indian Festival

Happy Holi! Holi is on Mar 11, 2009.
Holi is known as the festival of colors. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon (Purnima or Poornima) in early March every year. Holika purnima is also called Hutasani. It is the celebration of the arrival of spring - the season of hope and new beginnings and marks the re-kindling of the spirit of life according to the Bhagvad Gita. Holi is a day to celebrate with friends and neighbors. People perform havan and offer to the Gods the new grains that are harvested. The history of the origin of Holi goes back to Hindu mythology when Lord Krishna killed the demon "Madhu" in ancient Braj or modern Mathura in U.P.
Amongst India's innumerable festivals, Holi ranks as the most colorful. It celebrates the arrival of spring and death of demons Holika; it is a celebration of joy and hope. Holi provides a refreshing respite from the mundane norms as people from all walks of life enjoy themselves. In a tight knit community, it also provided a good excuse for letting off some steam and settling old scores, without causing physical injury.
Twin towns of Nandagow (where Lord Krishna grew up) and Barsana (where Shri Radha grew up), near Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh start off the celebrations a week earlier than the rest of India. Men and women of Vraj clash in a colorful display of battle of the sexes.Men of Nandagow raid Barsana with hopes of raising their flag over Shri Radhikaji's temple. They receive a thunderous welcome as the women of Barsana greet them with long wooden sticks. The men are soundly beaten as they attempt to rush through town to reach the relative safety of Shri Radhikaji's temple. Men are well padded as they are not allowed to retaliate. In this mock battle the men try their best not to be captured. Unlucky captives can be forcefully lead away, thrashed and dressed in female attire before being made to dance.The next day, men of Barsana reciprocate by invading Nandagow. Pink and white powders called abir and gulal cloud the sky as frenzied men and women revel on the streets. A naturally occurring orange-red dye, kasuda, is used to drench all participants. The state tourist board has set up excellent vantage points for the public to ensure safety of the spectators who flock to watch the revelry. A large open ground, on the outskirts of the town is specially set aside for the most magnificent display of the festivities.The temples in Vrindavan celebrate the festival with great guesto. The renowned temple of Bakai-Bihari worshipped by the 15th century saint Haridas, is at the centre of the festivities. Clouds of pink and white descend upon the pilgrims.

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