Holi, the colourful and the most vibrant festival of the country knows no bound. The name ?Holi? itself brings smile and enthusiasm among people. It is celebrated in arrival of spring season in all parts of the country starting from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Arunachal Pradesh to Rann of Kutch. It is one of the oldest rituals marked in India; with its most famous stories are Holika Dahan and Legend of Radha-Krishna. You cannot exactly say which part or region or state of the nation celebrates the best Holi. It completely depends on what kind of celebration you want to experience. Various ways of playing Holi are seen across the country, ranging from traditional temple religious ceremony to modern parties with dhol, DJs, bhang and lots of colours. Here are list of some places which might appeal you to enjoy the festival.
In the village of Barsana near Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, you will see the culture where women beat up men from their neighbour village Nandgaon with sticks. This type of Holi celebration is known as 'Lathmar'. Lathmar Holi is played one week prior to the main day of Holi. This year, it was celebrated on February 27. It is worth going to Barsana two days in advance of Lathmar Holi so that you can also enjoy Ladoo Holi and get the deep essence of the festival.
If you want to enjoy the traditional and ancient Holi in India then you must visit Mathura and Vrindvan in Uttar Pradesh. Mathura and Vrindavan are the places where Lord Krishna was born and spent his childhood respectively. A colourful and musical long procession takes place from the temples to river then to the Holi Gate, where the festival is marked. Celebrations go on for a week at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan.
Third on our list is the Holi celebration at Shantiniketan in West Bengal. In Shantiniketan, Holi is called 'Basanta Utsav', which was initiated by popular Bengali poet, author and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. On the occasion of an annual function in Vishva Bharati University, Tagore organised the colourful festival for the first time. Since then Holi is being cherished in all parts of West Bengal.
Basanta Utsav is marked for three days in the district of Purulia in West Bengal. People in Purulia celebrate Holi with a wide array of unique folk art. Various folk dance forms, including Chau dance, Darbari Jhumur and Natua dance are performed. Also, Bengali folk songs wandering baul musicians are performed.
Udaipurians celebrate Holi by lighting bonfire to ward evil spirits in a ritual known as 'Holika Dahan'. Bonfire is lighted on the eve of Holi. If you want to get an unforgettable regal experience of Holi, then you must join the celebration of Udaipur's Mewar royal family. Riding on bedecked horses and playing royal bands, a magnificent palace procession takes place from royal house to Manek Chowk followed by sacred bonfire and a sculpture of Holika is burnt.