Holi Celebration In West Bengal
No one can possibly forget the mirthful Holi of West Bengal; the rainbow drenched streets, the serene atmosphere and the epic love story of Radha and Krishna. Everything brings you close to this festival, you are keen to send gifts to India from abroad like sweets and apparels, you remember the lovely tradition of Holi in West Bengal and you can’t help but to fall in love with the holy traditions. There’s something about India that brings every religion together, whether it’s the Holi of Punjab or West Bengal, the polar opposite ends are brought together by this festival of colours, the divine bond is infinite. India gifts this uniqueness and beauty to every religion and so is the case of West Bengal.
In West Bengal the Holi festival is known by the name of Swing Festival as the name is relevant to a fascinating custom to swing the idol by the devotees. It is also known by the names Dol Jatra or Dol Poornima. The festival is celebrated in a very respectful manner where idol of Lord Krishna and Radha are placed in a beautifully adorned palanquin. The lovely palanquin of God and Goddess is then taken round the main streets of West Bengal by the excited devotees. From early morning itself the people here are dressed in their traditional attire which are of saffron or white colour with garlands of fragrant flowers.
The devotees take turns to swing them while the womenfolk sing devotional songs and dance around the swing. Simultaneously, the male members keep sprinkling coloured water and coloured powder i.e. Abeer on them. The head member of the family does a fast and dutifully prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev. After all these customs are over he apply gulal on Krishna’s idol and offer bhog to God.
Musical instruments like ektara and veena are played and people sing and dance to its melodies tunes. The whole view is serene, recreational and picturesque in itself.
Image Credit : travelsiteindia
The festival of Holi is incomplete without colours or Phag, it’s the life of this festival in West Bengal too. Phag is first applied to the pictures of the deceased family members by the young people then they apply it to the feet of their elders to receive blessings. After that the gulal or phag is applied to everyone.
Image Credit : infornicle
Away from the daily chaos Holi festival is celebrated in a delightful manner at Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan. The students are dressed in saffron coloured clothes with garlands of flowers, they sing and dance in the presence of their teachers and guests. Then the auspicious colour is smeared on everybody’s forehead.
The famous recipes of a Bengali kitchen on this joyous day include saffron milk, kheer sandesh, payesh, rasgulla, etc. People who are living in other countries also believe in offering sweet combo packs of chocolates and other desserts from us while sending gifts to India