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Holi Celebration in Varanasi and its Importance

Holi Celebration in Varanasi

Holi Celebration in Varanasi , the festival of colors, is celebrated with much enthusiasm and excitement all over India. However,Varanasi is one of the oldest and most sacred cities in India, is something truly special.

The festivities of Holi in Varanasi start with the Holika Dahan, a ritual in which a bonfire is lit on the eve of Holi. People gather around the fire, sing and dance, and offer prayers. The fire symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, and the burning of the Holika effigy represents the destruction of evil.

On the day of Holi festival, the entire city is covered in a colorful haze, as people roam around throwing colors and water on each other. The air is filled with the sound of laughter, music, and water guns. People of all ages, caste, and creed come together to celebrate this joyous festival.

The holi celebrations in Varanasi are not limited to just playing with colors. People also indulge in traditional sweets like gujiya, mathri, and thandai, a milk-based drink that is laced with bhang, a mild intoxicant. Bhang is legal in some parts of India, and it is often consumed during Holi to enhance the festive spirit.

Another unique aspect of Holi in Varanasi is the Rangbhari Ekadashi procession. The procession is led by the Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple, and it includes a group of devotees dressed in colorful attire. The procession starts from the temple and moves through the city, stopping at various locations to perform traditional dances and sing devotional songs.

In addition to the Rangbhari Ekadashi procession, there are also several other events organized during Holi in Varanasi. These include cultural programs, competitions, and sporting events.

Why Holi Is Celebrated ?

Holi is a Hindu spring festival that is primarily celebrated in India and Nepal, but it is also observed in many other parts of the world. The festival is known as the “Festival of Colors” or the “Festival of Love” and is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring.

The festival Holi is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Phalguna, which usually falls in late February or early March. The celebrations usually last for two days, and on the first day, known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi, people light bonfires to symbolize the victory of good over evil. The second day is known as Rangwali Holi or Dhulandi, which is when people throw colored powders and water at each other, sing and dance, and celebrate with their friends and family.

The story behind Holi’s origin varies across different regions and communities in India. One popular legend associated with Holi is the story of Prahlad and his evil father Hiranyakashipu. Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, but his father Hiranyakashipu was a demon king who did not believe in any god. When Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Prahlad, Lord Vishnu saved him, and Hiranyakashipu was ultimately defeated. This legend symbolizes the victory of good over evil, which is one of the main themes of Holi.

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Rang Bhari Ekadashi in Varanasi

Rang Bhari Ekadashi, also known as Amalaki Ekadashi, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated in Varanasi and other parts of India. It falls on the 11th day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna, which usually falls between February and March.

On this day, devotees worship Lord Vishnu and observe a fast to seek his blessings for prosperity, happiness, and spiritual enlightenment. The fast is broken on the next day, which is known as Dwadashi.

The festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Devotees take a dip in the holy river Ganga and perform puja at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. They also offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and the Amalaki tree, which is believed to be a form of the deity.

The festival is also marked by the traditional Holi celebrations, which include smearing colored powder (gulal) on each other, dancing, and singing. It is believed that Lord Krishna played Holi with his devotees in Vrindavan, a city near Varanasi, and the tradition has been followed ever since.

Overall, Rang Bhari Ekadashi is a joyous occasion that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the onset of spring. It brings people together and promotes unity, harmony, and brotherhood.

Holi Celebration In Ghats of Varanasi

Ghats in Varanasi is one of the most famous places to celebrate this festival.

During Holi, the ghats are beautifully decorated, and people gather here to play with colors, sing and dance, and enjoy traditional food and drinks.

The celebrations at Various Ghats in Varanasi usually start a day before Holi, with the lighting of a huge bonfire, known as Holika Dahan, which symbolizes the victory of good over evil. The next day, people gather early in the morning at the ghat to play with colors and exchange greetings with friends and family.

The celebrations at Ghats are known for their lively atmosphere, and visitors can expect to see a lot of music, dancing, and revelry. However, it is important to note that the crowds can get quite overwhelming, so visitors should take necessary precautions and follow all safety guidelines.

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In conclusion, Holi in Varanasi is a truly magical experience that should not be missed. The vibrant colors, the delicious food, and the festive spirit all come together to create an unforgettable celebration. So, if you ever get the chance to visit Varanasi during Holi, make sure you take part in the festivities and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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