Holi 2024: Holi festival is celebrated with great fun in Rajasthan.

On the occasion of Holi, many types of events are organized in different cities of Rajasthan. Various colors of Holi are seen in Rajasthan. During the days of Holi, the view at the presiding deity Govind Dev Temple of Jaipur is worth seeing. Phag Utsav is organized with colors and gulal on Holi in the temples of Rajasthan.

The center of attraction of Bikaneri Holi is Dolchi played between Harsh and Vyas castes of Pushkarna community. Water game Dolchi is a vessel made of leather in which water is filled and with a strong blow this water is hit on the back of the person in front. In Barmer, Holi is played by stoning, whereas in Ajmer, people celebrate Koda or Santmar Holi with great pomp and show. On the occasion of Holi in Sangod town of Hadoti region, new eunuchs are included in the community of eunuchs. On this occasion, folk festivals called Bazaar ka Nahan and Khada ka Nahan are organized. Obscene language is used extensively in Khada’s bath.

The arrival of Falgun in Brajanchal of Bharatpur is not an ordinary thing. On the chaupalas of the villages of Braj, the villagers of Braj sing Rasiya while playing their dhap, dhol and cymbals along with their folk instrument Bam. Rural women of Deeg area dance with heavy Charkula on their heads and with burning lamps on it. In this way, the nectar of joy rains throughout Braj. This tradition is the heritage of Braj. The tradition of Lathmar Holi of Braj at places like Barsane, Nandgaon, Kaman, Deeg etc. still strengthens the culture here. Dauji’s Huranga on Chaitra Krishna Dwitiya is also famous. Tearing the fabric of Brahmanagari Pushkar, Holi has established its influence not only in the country but also in foreign countries. Here, local and domestic tourists along with foreign tourists play Holi with great pomp and show and even tear each other’s clothes.

Lathmar Holi, played seven days after Holi on Shitala Saptami in Barundni village of Bhilwara district of Mewar region, has its own fun. Men and women of Maheshwari community play this Holi. Men fill buckets with water and pour it on women and women beat them with sticks. Here after Holi, the emperor’s procession is taken out. On Sheetala Saptami, a dead body is taken out from the mansion of Chittorgarh people. In this, a wooden ladder is made and after making the living person lie on it, the bier is taken out in the entire market. During this time the youth roam around the entire city carrying this bier. People bathe them in colours.

Holi of Shekhawati is famous all over the country. As soon as the evening falls in Phalgun, noises are heard. The feet have started tapping on the beat of the chang and the melodious sound of the flute has started adding sweetness to the ears. As Holi approaches, such an atmosphere is being seen in every village and village of Shekhawati region. Holi, a festival full of enthusiasm and fun, begins when spring is in its full youth and the human mind starts dancing to the intoxicating tunes of the flute and the beat of the chang. As Holi approaches, such an atmosphere is being seen in every village and village of Shekhawati region.

In every village and town of Shekhawati region, people gather at night and roam around in the localities singing the melodious tune of Chang till late night. The chang played on the occasion of Holi is also specially made in this area. The sound of Chang is similar to that of Dholak, but its structure is completely different from that of Dholak. Chang is much bigger than Dholak and is round in shape. As soon as Holi starts, people in the villages start handling their chang (dhap). Since Holi is the main festival of spring season and Basant Panchami marks the beginning of spring season. Therefore, in this region, the festival of Holi is formally started from the day of Basant Panchami by playing Chang (Dhaap).

Holi is a well-known folk festival in Shekhawati region and this festival is celebrated differently in the region than in the entire country. The joyous and fun-filled festival of Holi starts from the day of Basant Panchami in Shekhawati region. The folk culture of this area is described in the dhamals sung to the tune of Chang on the festival of Holi in the region. While lovers convey the message of their love to their girlfriends through these blasts, devotees remember the folk deities and pray for happiness and prosperity through the blasts. Along with the fun, the youth also entertain the people at night by performing various types of mimes. In villages, women gather in the square at night and sing auspicious songs and congratulations. During the days of Holi, there is joy in the villages till midnight.

In the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, every locality has its own Chang party. Chang is a famous dance of Shekhawati region. In this, every man dances while playing the chang. This is mainly done during the days of Holi. Each man dances in a circular circle, holding the Chang with one hand and playing the Kattarve theka with the other hand. They gather in the middle of the circle and sing Dhamaal and Holi songs. Gindad starts a fortnight before Holi. Bhang is suffocating at many places. However, these views are rarely seen now. Whereas, in Shekhawati the trend of hunting is still prevalent. When a child is born in the family, his maternal side and aunts give clothes and toys to the child on Holi.

In Shekhawati region, Gindar dance is especially performed in Kasvas on Holi. In the Gindad dance, which is similar to the Gujarati dance Garva, many people in different types of colorful costumes dance while roaming in a circle with sticks in their hands to the sound of Nangad and collide the sticks with each other. This dance, which started slowly in the beginning, gradually picks up speed. At the same speed, the sound of the sticks hitting each other comes at a very high speed and a wonderful scene of dance and sound is created which every spectator cannot help but be thrilled by. Due to these programs organized on the occasion of Holi, every person here feels a new surge of energy in himself.

Some institutions of the region have been making special efforts for some time to keep the folk tradition of these dances alive. An organization called Sadbhav in Jhunjhunu city has been organizing Chang, Gindar program on the occasion of Holi for the last 18 years, to see which a large number of people come from far-flung villages. The jackal dance of Jhunjhunu, Fatehpur Shekhawati, Ramgarh Shekhawati, Mandawa, Laxmangarh, Churu, Bissau, Laxmangarh towns is famous in the entire country. For this reason, Chang and Gindad dances have started being organized in other provinces outside Shekhawati also. These dances conclude on the day of Dhulandi.

People say that if folk instruments Chang and Dhamaal are removed from the Holi festival then the Holi festival will become lifeless. Villagers consider Chang and Dhamaal as the soul of Holi festival. Today this tradition is gradually disappearing. Earlier, the festival of Holi was celebrated here with love, everyone used to sing together and sing dhamaal on the chang, but nowadays all that has come to an end. Due to the increasing prevalence of alcohol in the area, people have become afraid of going out of their homes at night and there is no harmony in the villages as before. Apart from this, the increasing prevalence of audio cassettes has also made this folk festival seem artificial. Because of cassettes, the originality of the festival is going to be lost. If efforts are not made in time to end the evils prevalent on Holi and the practice of drinking alcohol, then this festival will lose its original form.

– Ramesh Saraf Dhamora

(The author is an independent journalist accredited by the Government of Rajasthan.)

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