Dol Purnima Utsav at Bengal :

The only occasion when you can drench someone in colour and get away with is during the festival of Holi. Holi is the festival of colours celebrated in the country of India. This festival is celebrated in different parts of country with slightly different customs and traditions but the theme and the significance of the festival remains the same. Holi is called as ‘Dol jatra’ in Bengal and is celebrated in with great vigour and enthusiasm.

Holi is known by the name of ‘Dol Jatra’, ‘Dol Purnima’ or the ‘Swing Festival’. Celebrated on the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the people of Bengal dress up in saffron-coloured clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. People generally participate in huge numbers for these festivities. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. It is a beautiful sight to watch and wonderful feeling to be part of it.

Holi is celebration of the love between Lord Krishna and Radha. The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the idols of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. While these things are going on others spray colours, colourful water on each other’s, and on the people who are dancing. The whole atmosphere is electric with joy and devotion of the devotees.

People pray to Lord Krishna and Agnidev, god of fire, and observe fast. After all the traditional rituals are over, they smears Krishna’s idol with gulal and offers “bhog“(food) to both Krishna and Agnidev. The bhog generally consists of traditional sweet dishes like malpoa, kheer sandesh etc. In Shantiniketan, Holi is celebrated in a special way, with devotees showing their devotion by singing, it is very musical.

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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.

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