A glimpse of the Lathmar Holi celebration in Uttar Pradesh.

Holi, also known as the ‘festival of colours’, is one of the most vibrant festivals in India, celebrated with great zeal and fervour. It signifies the triumph of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and brings joy to life. This year, the festival will be celebrated on March 25. A variety of colours, upbeat music, good time with family and friends, and mouth-watering treats are all used to commemorate Holi each year. Preparations for the two-day celebration begin weeks in advance, with streets adorned with vivid decorations and markets brimming with people buying coloured powders (gulal), water guns, and sweets.

The festival, which falls on a Monday this year, makes for an extended weekend and gives a chance for people to see the vibrant mix of traditional and contemporary celebration.

Here are the top destinations to celebrate Holi in India:

  • Mathura, Uttar Pradesh: Barsana in Mathura is famous for Lathmar Holi and is centred around Lord Krishna and Radha. Women traditionally dress up as Gopis and the men as Gops. The women playfully ‘hit’ the men with sticks to drive them away and also play with colours.
  • Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh: Phoolwalon Ki Holi is played with spring flowers and colours. It is famous at the Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan. Holi is not a one-day event here. It usually goes on for a week surrounding legends and local folklore.
  • Shantiniketan, West Bengal: The city celebrates the festival with a lot of enthusiasm. It is also called Basanta Utsav and is inspired by Rabindranath Tagore. People can witness cultural performances, dance, poetry along with the usual celebrations. 
  • Anandpur Sahib, Punjab: Holi is celebrated here with Hola Mohalla, a celebration that features martial arts demonstrations and mock fights between Nihang Sikhs and the customary bright colours.
  • Udaipur, Rajasthan: The royal celebration hosted at City Palace, where the Udaipur royal family participates in all preparations and functions, is one of the many celebrations, parties, and special events conducted around the city that makes the festival special alongside the colourful sight.

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