The twin cities of Vrindavan and Mathura are the epicenter of Holi celebrations, with festivities lasting over a week. With the festival around the corner, here are a few reasons for why you should head there this year to celebrate:
1) It’s a Surreal Experience
It’s surreal! Did we say that already? If you thought playing Holi at home with your friends and family is fun, wait until you experience how Holi is really done. The Holi celebrations in Vrindavan – land of Lord Krishna, are unlike anything you have ever seen before. The week long celebrations starting with Lathmaar Holi in Barsana where women playfully beat up men with sticks to the festivities at Banke Bihari Temple where crowds gather up to play Holi with Lord Krishna himself are unmatchable.
Photo Courtesy: Massimo Bietti
2) It’s Time to Try Something New
Holi parties are awesome – drinking bhang and splashing colors at each other while dancing to Bollywood music. What is there not to love? But you have been doing the same thing every year for years. Now it’s time to try something new where you can do all of that plus more. And you don’t have to go far – Vrindavan is a short 3-hour drive from Delhi.
Photo Courtesy: Steve McCurry
3) Legends & Myths
Krishna was born in Mathura and spent his childhood in Vrindavan. Legend has it that the tradition of throwing colors dates back to an incident involving Krishna smearing Radha’s face with color. The festival gets its name from Queen Holika who sat in a bonfire in an attempt to kill her nephew Prahlad. A traditional Holika Dahan bornfire is lit on the night before Holi in the region wherein onlookers hurl cow dung into the fire and shout obscenities at it. Learn more about these legends and many more fascinating stories associated with Holi as you partake in the celebrations.
4) Instagram Bragging Points
Holi is called the festival of colors and with good reason. The stunning colors, beautiful decorations, happy faces, zest, and enthusiasm that fill up the air make this festival a photographer’s dream. Bring out your inner photographer and capture some inspiring, colorful photos that are bound to make all your Insta followers jealous!
Photo Courtesy: Massimo Bietti
5) It’s a Cultural ‘Trip’
The traditions and celebrations here are so unique and guarantee a cultural experience mixed in with a lot of fun. Some of the cultural celebrations include the aggressive but playful Lathmaar Holi, Holika Dahan where effigies of Holika are burned, a festive Street Procession with people dressed up as Radha and Krishna, Phoolon ki Holi played with flowers, and Gulal Holi played with the traditional red powdered color. You will also get to witness and learn the process of making bhang, a cannabis infused drink, here. Afterall, it’s the only time of the year when it’s perfectly acceptable to be high across the country.
6) It’ll be the Experience of a Lifetime
Every year, tens of thousands of revelers make the journey to these small towns to capture the real essence of Holi. There are colors, dancing, festivities, happiness, and joy all around, making it a celebration to remember. So gather your friends and come check out what the rave is all about. It will be one of the most unique experiences of your life.
Photo Courtesy: Ruben Vicente