Monday, March 9, 2020

Holika Dahan celebrations in Mathura

People roast green cereals in Holi bonfire and exchange sweets

The ancient city of Mathura where Lord Krishna was born celebrated the festival of Holika Dahan with great fervour. To mark the occasion, huge bonfires along with statues of demoness Holika carrying Prahlada in her lap were placed at all the main squares and marketplaces of Mathura. But, the grandest of the celebrations were conducted at Holi Gate, where a large number of women performed Holika Puja till 4 pm. Holika Dahan was conducted late at 9 pm.  
Holika Puja at Holi Gali
The main event of Holika Dahan was conducted by Holikotsava Samiti at Holi Gate. A large number of women from nearby regions conducted Holika Puja at Holi Gate. Along with traditional items of Puja like whole turmeric, whole rice, Kumkum and Gulal a string of small cow dung cakes was also offered to Holi bonfire. Following the Puja, Parikrama of Holi bonfire was done by women with a cotton thread. The Puja rituals were concluded with Aarti. Thousands of women conducted Holika and Prahlada worship from 10 am to 4 pm. At 7 pm, Karshni Guru Sharanananda worshipped Holika and performed Aarti. Local artists performed various cultural events. A large crowd gathered to witness the celebrations often obstructing the traffic in the region. Other major locations of Mathura including Holi Gali, Rangeshwar temple region and Dampier Nagar square also held Holika Dahan events.  

A group of women worshipping Holika and Prahlada
People buying green cereals for roasting in Holi bonfire
At Holi Gate and Holi Gali, Holika Dahan was performed at 9 pm and 11 pm respectively. A large number of locals along with visitors gathered around the Holi bonfire for the event of Holika Dahan. People took a piece of burning cow dung cake to light the Holi bonfire at home as it is considered auspicious.

                     A local resident sharing her thoughts on Holika Dahan

As the festival of Holi also coincides with the harvesting season in many parts of the country, people also roasted green cereals like wheat and chickpea in the Holi bonfire. Later these roasted cereals were shared with loved ones and neighbours and Holi wishes were exchanged along with traditional sweets like Gujiya and Gulab Jamun. The next day of Holika Dahan is Dhulandi or Rangwali Holi. People across the Brij region will play Holi on March 10.

No comments:

Post a Comment