Thursday, 9 March 2017

বসন্ত এসে গেছে (Spring has Come) :Colors And Aroma Whispered in th ears of Flora and Fauna

ওরে ভাই, ফাগুন লেগেছে বনে বনে-- ডালে ডালে ফুলে ফুলে পাতায় পাতায় রে, আড়ালে আড়ালে কোণে কোণে ||
ফাগুন লেগেছে বনে বনে |
O dear, it is painted with spring in the woods –
The branches, the leaves   the flowers and fruits,
All the corners and hideouts it is painted with.
‘Phagun’ is a coloquial term for ‘phalgun ‘ which is synonymous to the advent of spring .. ‘If winter comes , can spring be far behind ?’
I do not quite know if spring can stay far behind..But one thing we all know, if spring comes…Colors of nature can never stay behind . One of the most popular festivals in India is the Holi Festival held every year on the day of the full moon in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun. Holi is also known as the Spring Festival, Holi marks the end of the cooler winter months and the beginning of spring, a celebrated season as it brings warmer days, new produce, love and joy.
During this lovely season flora and fauna come to life , landscapes are at their brightest, the sun is shining and the locals from across the country adorn themselves in brightly coloured clothing. Holi also signifies a victory of good over evil. As per ancient mythology, there is a legend of King Hiranyakashipu with who Holi is associated. Hiranyakashipu was a king in ancient India who was like a demon. He wanted to take revenge for the death of his younger brother who was killed by Lord Vishnu. So to gain power, the king prayed for years. He was finally granted a boon. But with this Hiranyakashipu started considering himself  God and asked his people to worship him like God. The cruel king has a young son named Prahalad, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prahalad had never obeyed his father’s order and kept on worshiping Lord Vishnu. The King was so hard hearted and decided to kill his own son, because he refused to worship him. He asked his sister ‘Holika’, who was immune to fire, to sit on a pyre of fire with Prahalad in her lap. Their plan was to burn Prahalad. But their plan did not go through as Prahalad who was reciting the name of Lord Vishnu throughout was safe, but Holika got burnt to ashes. The defeat of Holika signifies the burning of all that is bad. After this, Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu. But it is actually the death of Holika that is associated with Holi. Because of this, in some states of India like Bihar , a pyre in the form of bonfire is lit on the day before Holi day to remember the death of evil.In Bengal some people burn ‘chanchar ‘ for the same reason ,this ritual is coloquially termed as ‘Burir Ghor Porano ‘.. The Burir Ghor ( The Old Lady’s Home) is constructed with dry leaves and worn out branches of trees and this ritual is also  signifies death of evil .
Some of The Places In India to Celebrate Holi:

Mathura & Vrindaban:
Mathura is certainly one of the top places to celebrate Holi in India. According to legends, the custom of playing colors on Holi originated from the play of Radha and Krishna. A colorful and musical procession takes place from the temples to river ghats then to the Holi Gate. The celebrations start almost a week before the festival. Temples are decorated, songs, and chants create a devotional ambiance. On the day of the festival, the best place to visit in Mathura is the Dwarkadheesh Temple.
Vrindaban on the other hand is a favourite place for Photo Journalists and Photo Bloggers. Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari Temple’s Holi celebrations is one of its kind. The town echoes with tales of Radha-Krishna and celebrates the festival with traditions, devotion and serenity. The extremely popular Banke Bihari temple in the town hosts a week long Holi celebrations attend by visitors from all over the world.
The Holi customs in the temple are unique, as there is not play of conventional dry or wet colors, but flowers, and hence the name Phoolon wali holi (Flowers’ Holi). The temple priests’ shower the pilgrims with flowers in a way showering the blessings of the Lord.
Holi by the name of Vasant Utsav is celebrated with fervour in the state of West Bengal. The tradition of Vasantotsav, meaning Spring Festival was started by poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore atShantiniketan, the University he founded. What is appreciated is the grace and diginified manner in which Vasant Utsav is celebrated in West Bengal as compared to boisterous Holi witnessed in most parts of India. Students of Vishwa Bharati joyfully welcome Spring dressed in yellow singing “ Orrey Grihobashi Khol dwar khol ,laglo jey dol”, the season of hope not just with colours but with songs, dance, chanting of hymns in the serene ambiance of Shantiniketan.
image source:google
Anybody who got a chance to witness this elegant way of celebrating Holi in Bengal remembers it with fond memory for the rest of his life.In Bengal Holi is also called ‘Dol ‘ .
Kolkata like many cities celebrates boisterous Holi . The city of Joy and it’s jovial citizens love any kind of celebration . Kolkata catches eyes of every one by celebrating holi in unique style . Last few years kolkata’s different event clubs are organising dry holi with safe colors which are extraxted from natural dervatives . A miniature of Shantiniketan’s  Vasant Utsav can be witnessed at  RBU Campus .
image source: Indian Express
This celebration is not only becoming a craze among young girls and boys but also photography enthusiasts .
If spring comes colors certainly can’t stay behind . The Pink City, Jaipur used to celebrate the festival of colors extravagantly with the elephant festival. Elephant parades, elephant lavish decoration contests, folk dances, and tug-of-war between elephants, were the popular in Jaipur. This event hasn’t been held since 2012 due to pressure from animal rights groups.If you are interested in Holi festival celebration with elephants, try Eleholi. There are also a bunch of private parties and events which you can join for a dose of fun. You can get tickets for those event from posh hotels of Jaipur .
Palash Parban is a festival held every year during Holi (in the month of March) on the bank of Kansai river at Deulghata, Purulia.
Image Source :

Image Source :
It’s a three day festival organized by villagers. Various artists and dancers perform during this festival. In 2013 the festival was organized by the Edge of India Purulia Co-operative.

Now , why is the capital of celebrations  lag behind the rest of the country when it comes to Holi ? The advent of spring is celbrated here in a unique way too ,thefestival of spring is called ‘Shigmo ‘ in Goa.
Image Source :Google
The festival is celebrated mostly by the masses following all religious traditions. As expected from the Goans, the festival is accompanied with fanfare. Performance on drumbeats and epic enactment of mythology are religiously followed. Vivid and vibrant colours of gulal and neel are abundantly used. Shigmotav is highlighted with performances of troupes in the form of parades and cultural dramas. At dusk, huge effigies are taken in processions and prizes given away.
Be it Jorashanko, Shantiniketan ,Goa or your terrace Holi is Holi !!May the advent of  Spring-flowers prepare us the winning garland…May the Storm of exuberance prevail..Be it Shantineketan’s melody or Jorashanko’s crowd.. Be it the drums Goa or the Serenity of Palash Parbon on the bank of mellifluous Kangshabati let the lash of rhythmic dance injects the jovial sweet intoxication  ,replacing niggrdly attitude by opulence .

Happy Holi Every One 
Happy Holi !

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