Holi celebrations in Punjab bring with it a riot of colors, songs, dancing and scrumptious treats all to welcome spring. Holi announces the arrival of spring with the warm weather and bright sunshine urging one and all to celebrate. Holi falls in the month of March or late February and since the winter is on the way out, it is a perfect time to shed the warm clothing and play with water and colors.
Hola Mohalla in Punjab
Punjab celebrates the festival with lots of cheer and the people are geared up to sing, dance and play with colors. The fields are swaying with crops ready for harvest and the flowers are blooming everywhere. Traditionally Hola Mohalla is the way Holi is celebrated in Punjab but the the typical tradition of playing with color and water, continues to be an integral part of the festivities. Holi is celebrated as per various legends in the different regions of the country but in Punjab it is an occasion to mingle with friends and family. It the occasion to forgive and forget and embrace one and all as the colors signify the blending and mixing with all.
It is a holiday for everyone and you cannot step out without having some color sprayed on you. The day starts early on the day of Holi, people get dressed to play and stock up on the color and sweets to welcome their friends to play and enjoy the festival. The youth collect in groups forming Tolis or groups and move to houses of friends and family, wishing everyone a Happy Holi and putting colors on one and all. The color is put on the feet of elderly as a mark of respect and the elderly bless the youngsters and putting colors on the youngsters face and head. The young and adults all spread colors and water mixed colors on each other. The children use water pistols, water filled balloons are thrown and play games of spraying each other. Shouting, singing and dancing are all a big part of the festival.
Holi Celebrations across PunjabIn the big cities of Punjab like Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Patiala etc the festival is celebrated with big groups getting together for parties. Friends and family visit each other and neighbors wishing everyone a Happy Holi. The parties are overflowing with dry as well as wet colors, washable as well as permanent colors, lots to eat, sweets and drink especially ‘Bhang’ or other forms of alcohol.
The smaller towns and villages also play Holi with colors and even burn the ‘Holika bonfire’ a day prior. The day of Holi brings with it a riot of colors and sweets everywhere. Getting drenched in colors with the young and old, men and women and children, all of them coloring each other and expressing their love and joy.