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Holi : Colors of Love, Colors of Life

Gujarat celebrates Holi with colors of love, colors of life. Festival of colors, Holi is celebrated with great fanfare in the Gujarat state of India. Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna. It is a major Hindu festival and marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.

There are many stories associated with the origin of Holi. For some Holi marks the day when devotees of lord Vishnu, Bhakt Prahlad who was seated on the lap of demoness Holika was saved from the effect of the fire by God and instead the demoness got burnt. For others the festivals relate to the death of demon Putana at the hands of lord Krishna while some associate the festival with the worship of Karma, God of pleasure and destiny.

Holi is basically a harvest celebration, marking the end of winter and bonfires are lit marking the ending of evil. The two day festival, Holi is a day of fasting and in the evening, offer prayers to the lit bonfire. People offer raw mangoes, coconut, corn, toys made of sugar, khoya to the 'Holika' and apply tilak on each other and hug their dear ones. Virgins from Gujarat create images of their goddess 'Gauri' out of the ashes left by the bonfire of the night before.

Dhuleti, the second day is marked by sprinkling of colored water and applying gulal on each other. Singing, dancing, eating delicacies and mingling with friends and family.

Holi is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm in Gujarat. The tribal-dominated eastern districts of Panchmahal and Dahod, the Bhil and Bhilala tribals celebrates Holi with special enthusiasm. The vibrant and colourful Bhagoria festival coinciding with Holi attracts tourists in large number to the tribal heartland.

Gujarati Holi is famous for its certain characteristics. In Gujarat, it is customary to break earthen pots filled with buttermilk, which is tied high up on a rope on this day. Hundreds of people join hands to make a human pyramid, so that they can reach the pot. But the crucial factor is that people who surround the pyramid, keep throwing water on the group forming the pyramid.



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