Dol Yatra also known as Doljatra or Dolotsav is a popular festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and zest in the Eastern regions of India. The Dol Yatra celebrations are particularly famous in West Bengal and Orissa.
Dol Yatra festival in Bengal :
Dol Yatra festival is essentially a festival of color, just like Holi, which is celebrated throughout India. The way Dol Yatra is celebrated distinguishes it from Holi. The festival holds a special place in the hearts of all Bengalis, particularly in West Bengal. This is because Dol Yatra is the last festival in the Bengali Year.
Dol Yatra celebrations have a long, rich and cherished tradition. It is been celebrated since ancient times. The festival has a mythological significance. The story behind the celebration of this festival is that lord Krishna expressed his feelings towards his lover Radha.
On the day of Dol Yatra, the festivity starts with Puja and bhajans to honor the most famous loved couple in Indian mythology, Radha and Lord Krishna. People dress up in the traditional Bengali attire for the prayer and procession of both god n goddess are being carried on a swinging palanquin. Once the prayer is completed, its gala time, people start playing with colors. They smear each other faces with different colored powder. The colored powder is known as Phag in Bengali.
It is one day when Bengalis forget all their sorrows and worries and indulge in celebration in full swing. Businesses remain shut and people sway in the spirit of the festival. It is a tradition of the festival that the young members in the family start the festival by applying Phag on the photos of the deceased members of the family and then on the feet of the elders as a mark of respect.
People of Bengal celebrate the festival keeping intact the rich tradition associated with the festival.