Dancing Colours: A Vibrant Tale of Holi

India’s Holi, the festival of vibrant colours, signifies the arrival of the joyous Spring season. It holds special significance as the favourite festival of Lord Krishna. For an enchanting experience of this celebration, there’s no better place than the land of Shri Krishna. Mathura stands out as a vibrant hub where Holi is celebrated with unparalleled zeal, offering a blend of fun and frolic.

It’s undeniably the perfect destination during this season! With colours and mischief filling the air, the sweet aroma of treats, and joyous faces exchanging greetings, everyone aspires to be part of this incredible extravaganza. This month-long fiesta kicks off in February and culminates with the grand Mathura Holi celebrations in March. Encompassing the entire Brij Bhoomi, from Gokul and Vrindavan to Barsana, Nandgaon, and Mathura, the month-long events at these places captivate all who attend. Notably, international TV teams, esteemed dignitaries, photographers, and tourists from every continent flock to Mathura annually to witness this spectacular celebration!

Barsana’s Lathmar Holi, followed by the spirited festivities in Nandgaon, is truly exhilarating! The unique ‘Falen Ki Holi’ unfolds in the Falen village, 40 km from Mathura, where a barefoot, bare-bodied priest walks through a mound of fire, believed to be blessed by a saint for fire immunity, akin to ‘Prahlad.’ This astonishing event promises to surpass all the chills and thrills you’ve experienced! Lastly, ‘Dauji Huranga,’ played in the village of Lord Krishna’s elder brother Baldeo, also known as ‘Dauji,’ guarantees to immerse your senses in a vibrant splash of colours!

Braj Holi Schedule

17th March, 2024 – Barsana Laddu Holi

Sriji Temple Barsana

‘Ladoo Holi’ at Shri Ji temple in Mathura’s Barsana is a joyous affair. A local emissary, known as a ‘Panda,’ invites people from Nandgaon to join Holi. Upon the Panda’s return, a warm welcome ensues with laddoos and gulal. At Ladli Mandir, thousands gather to witness the start of Laddoo Holi, where the priest of Radha Rani Temple becomes the focus, bombarded with laddoos. Devotees enthusiastically participate, believing they are playing Holi with Lord Krishna himself.

18th March, 2024 – Barsana Lathmar Holi

The celebration entails women playfully showering sticks on men, who engage in a lighthearted defence. This festival serves as a powerful symbol of unity, brotherhood, and love. Despite its playful nature, the event conceals underlying themes of mutual love, trust, and respect.

19th March, 2024 – Nandgaon Holi (Lathmar)

Lathmar Holi in Nand Bhawan

20th March, 2024 – Vrindavan Holi

The Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan is the focal point for Phoolon Ki Holi, bustling with activity on the celebration day. Gates open at 4:00 pm, prompting eager attendees to queue early for the anticipated flower shower. Upon entry, the main event unfolds with temple priests on the first floor showering flowers on devotees for 15 to 20 minutes.

21st March, 2024 – Mathura Holi

The sanctuary doors swing open at 10 am, with a lively crowd already gathered outside, engaging in Holi festivities and colouring anyone daring to cross the street. While much of it is enjoyable, the atmosphere can quickly turn chaotic. Typically, local men and children actively participate, and women are notably absent. However, several tourist women enthusiastically join in the celebration.

22nd March, 2024 – Gokul Holi

In Gokul, Holi is marked by the use of organic colours, often derived from flowers like tesu (Flame of the Forest). According to legend, Lord Krishna engaged in Holi celebrations with dried tesu flowers, and it is a longstanding belief that the Hindu deity continues to play Holi with his devotees in Gokul.

24th March, 2024 – Holika Dahan

Maha Holika Dahan is performed in Phalen village. People playing Holi reach here barefoot and play Holi. After this, a glimpse of Dwarkadhish temple of Mathura appears.

25th March, 2024 – Braj Holi

Dhulandi Festival is observed nationwide, occurring a day following Holika Dahan, and it symbolises the onset of spring.

In Brij, Holi is celebrated with Flowers (Abir Gulal) and Colourful Water festivities.

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