Holi is a festival of colours, festival of triumph of goodness over evil, and a festival which is celebrated throughout India as a celebration of the great love between lord Krishna and Radha. Holi is celebrated with the same fervour and charm in Bihar as in rest of north India. Holi played in Bihar has its local taste with unique customs, but not wavering from the central theme of the festival.
Holi Festival in Bihar:
In the local dialect, Bhojpuri, Holi is known as phagwa. The legend of Holika, where prahlad, devotee of lord Vishnu comes out unscathed out of fire but the demoness holika gets consumed in the flames, is prevalent here too. To
symbolize the same triumph of good over evil people light bonfires on the eve of Phalgun Poornima. They put dung cakes, wood of Araad or Redi tree, Holika tree and grains from the fresh harvest and unwanted wood leaves in the bonfire. These days’ people use waste material instead of trees to prevent cutting of more number of trees. Following the tradition people also clean their houses for the day and perform various rituals.
Generally the holika is lit at night, people gather around the place of the bonfire. The eldest member or a purohit lights the holika and thus symbolizes the end of evil. He then smears others with colour as a mark of greeting.
Next day the festival is celebrated with colours and lot of frolic. Intoxicating bhang is consumed with a variety of mouthwatering delicacies such as pakoras and thandai in Bihar and adds flavour to the festivities.
This festival is a big hit amongst children and youths, though the elder people participate too enthusiastically. Though the festival is usually played with colours at some places people also enjoy playing Holi with mud, and at some other places it is celebrated by playing music. Folk songs are sung at high pitch and people dance to the tune of dholak and the spirit of Holi.
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