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Holi and Dola Yatra | History and celebration.
The vibrancy of colors of Dolpurnima or Holi festival is something that brings a lot of positivity in our lives . And Holi festival of colors is indeed a day of joy.
Holi is a famous Hindu festival in India and Nepal as well as other places where live Hindus. The people celebrate it with great joy and enthusiasm in every part of India.
The ceremony begins slowly a day before the day of Holi or Dolpurnima and this process symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
On Holi day people play colors with their friends and family and in the evening they show love and respect to their loved ones with Abir.
Holi and Dola Yatra, these festivals are celebrated together for two consecutive days across India, but the two festivals have different meanings.
Holi is generally celebrated all over India and Nepal and just one day before it only West Bengal (meaning Bengali), Assam and Odisha celebrate either Dola Yatra or Dola Purnima festival
As we find some similarities in celebrating the two festivals, we also find some differences.
Did you not see at first, where is the difference between celebrating two festivals? The difference is its history and celebration.
History of Dola Yatra: The Magnificent Colors Festival of Hindu Now Turns Universal
Dola Yatra is considered to be the day of Radha and Krishna, on which Krishna offers his love to Radha. This day is dedicated to Lord Krishna.
It is the last festival of the Bengali calendar. It is also known as Dola Purnima as the timing of Dola Yatra is usually determined by observing the full moon day.
On this day, Lakshmi and Narayan Puja i.e. Puja of Radha Krishna takes place from house to house in Bengalis.
In addition, in different places, the palanquin of Shri Kris is arranged for procession, flowers and Abir are played.
It is accompanied by the song and turn of Shri Krishna. It is also known as the “Spring Festival” among Bengalis.
The Spring Festival was started by the Nobel laureate poet Guru Rabindranath Tagore in his Santiniketan, where the festival is celebrated with the same enthusiasm today.
Bolpur, Santiniketan, today is famous for its spring festival. People come from far and wide at this time to celebrate Dolutsav or Spring festival at Santiniketan.
Dol Purnima is more important for Bengalis, as it is the birthday of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1485-1533). He was a great Vaishnava monk. He made Radha and Krishna’s passion – love – highly spiritual.
Dola Yatra festival:The Magnificent Colors Festival of Hindu Now Turns Universal
The first day of Deul or Dol is known as Gondhu. It is said that in the evening, Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, left for the place of Ghunuch, Krishna’s wife.
So his followers organize a fire festival in front of the kirtan-house (which we know as nyarapora) and Vaishnavites perform kirtans by beating drums and cymbals.
Haribol sounds was around. Common people organize Narapora and Hari Loot on that day and think that they are killing the evil energy in the middle of the day.
The second day of Deul is known as Bhor-Deul – which basically means swing. Bhor Deul is celebrated for one day in the month of Chaitram and for three days in the month of Phalgun.
The last and fourth day of Dol festival is known as Suri. On that day, Lord Krishna returned from Ghunuch’s house to Mother Lakshmi’s house.
Krishna’s followers brought him or his idol back on that day in a palanquin or dola. The Vaishnavites played kirtans by playing open cymbals, scattered various colors in the air in the sky.
It is said that when the procession of Krishna’s followers reached Maa Lakshmi’s door, Maa Lakshmi stood at the gate with a bamboo stick, as she was angry with Swami, Krishna, for staying at Ghunucha during these days.
But Maa Lakshmi’s efforts failed, Sri Krishna entered entered and circumambulated the kirtan room seven times. After that Anna Moni redeemed Maa Lakshi with free wealth. Deul or Dol festival ends on this day.
Generally, Dol Utsav continues for one or two days depending on the traditions of the society. But in Mathura and Vrindavan, the Dola festival is celebrated for 16 days, because these two places are directly associated with Krishna.
History of Holi Festival:
Holi is considered as the most revered and celebrated festival of India and is celebrated in almost every part of the country.
It is also sometimes known as the “Festival of Love” as on this day people come together to forget all grudges and all kinds of bad feelings towards each other.
The great Indian festival lasts for a day and night, beginning on Purnima or the full moon day in the month of Phalgun.
It is celebrated as Holika Dahan or Chatti Holi on the first evening of the festival and the following day is called Holi. It is known by different names in different parts of the country.
Holika Dahan :The Magnificent Colors Festival of Hindu Now Turns Universal
Holika Dahan starts in the evening on the eve of Holi festival. Where people gather around the fire pit to worship and pray to get rid of the evil forces within them. It’s just as Holika, Hiranyakishipur’s sister, sacrificed her life in the fire pit.
According to its name, the event is called “Holika Dahan”. According to Hinduism, the festival of Holi is a festival of annihilation of an evil spirit called Holika, where Lord Vishnu kills Holika to save Prahada.
Through this festival, the victory of auspicious forces and the defeat of evil forces are believed. So the devotees provide one piece of firewood, Prasad is distributed and Holika Dahan is followed by dance and song.
It is said that Holika was given a boon by Bramha. Owing to that she could use without ever harming anyone. What it was? That she would not be harmed even if she went into the fire.
A king called Hiranyakshaip wanted to worship only him in his kingdom, but his son Pralhad, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu i.e. Narayana.
That is why he tried to kill his son many times without success. He then ordered his sister Holika to enter the fire with Pralhad.
Holika thought that she had a boon. So she would not be harmed. But she did not know that her boon would only work when she entered a fire.
He had a shawl given by Bramha, wearing which nothing could harm him. But Prahlda, as soon as he entered the fire, started praying to Lord Vishnu. Therefore, Lord Vishnu saved Prahada and Holika was consumed in the fire.
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