Monday, March 9, 2020

Brij gets a Holi makeover, markets decked up with colorful Pichkari and Rang-Gulal

People throng markets defying the Coronavirus threat; the demand for herbal colors rises

The city of Lord Krishna, Mathura is once again ready to welcome the festival of colors, Holi. But, the current happenings in India and the world have been impacting the market greatly for the last few weeks. Be it the novel Coronavirus or the latest bank crisis, the market is facing blows from all directions. Moreover, ongoing political upheaval is also reflected in the preparations of Holi celebrations. Drik Panchang correspondent visited main markets of Mathura to get a clearer picture of Holi preparations in the city.

Customers buying Pichkari at a local market in Mathura

Firstly, people seemed largely unfazed with the Coronavirus threat and thronged markets in large crowds to make their purchases. With the festival of colors Holi just one day away, markets across Mathura could be seen brimming with enthusiastic customers of all ages. All the main markets were decorated with colourful *Gulal and *Pichkari of different shapes and sizes. PUBG and Doraemon Pichkari were particularly attracting children, while gift boxes of red, pink, yellow and green Gulal were the centre of attraction amongst young people.

Colorful Gulal at display in a local market

The main market areas in Mathura, the Holi Gate, Chhatta Bajar, Chowk Bajar, Bharatpur Gate, Kotawali Road, Arya Samaj Road and Vikas Bajar are the focal points of Holi activities. The enthusiasm with which the people of Brij prepped up for Holi could be experienced in those stuffy markets where ancient and modern India goes hand-in-hand. Pichkaris decorated with modern-day cartoon characters and mobile games were displayed in glass-cabinet to attract children. Then there were Gulal in bright hues of yellow, green, red and orange and traditional headgear of Brij, Pagadi, hooked passersby of every age and group.

Colorful Pagadi for Holi celebrations

Like many festivals, during the Holi festival also, choices of young people and children dictate market trends. As per the local shopkeepers, Pichkaris as costly as ₹ 1,200 were available in the market. Rang and Gulal were available in various sachets, most popular were the sachets of 100 grams available in the price range of ₹ 10-45. The demand for organic color has risen substantially over the years and markets even in small cities like Mathura can be seen catching up with the current trends as organic Gulal finding their place on the shelves.  

Market prices for color and Pichkari

Pichkari – ₹ 10 to Rs 1,200
Chemical Gulal – ₹ 60 for 5 kg
Organic Gulal – ₹ 10-40 for 100 grams
Colorful hats – ₹ 10-60
Pagadi – ₹ 40-60
Beard and Mustache – ₹ 10
Wig – ₹ 50-80
Color spray – ₹ 20-100
Wet color – ₹ 60 for 100 grams

*Pichkari - Water gun
*Gulal - Color powder 

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