India’s favorite festival- Holi, is around the corner and throughout the country it is celebrated as a festival of joy and happiness. The festival Holi marks the beginning of the spring season and is celebrated to welcome the harvest season.
In Jaipur, the Pink City, Holi festival is played with lots of zeal and enthusiasm. The celebrations start way before the commencement of the actual festival. During the week before the Holi, Jaipurites enjoy shopping on the streets of Badi and Choti chaupad to buy colors and pichkaris. The first day of Holi- Holika Dahan is celebrated in the City Palace with the royal family lighting the pyre. The following day of Holi is celebrated as the day of colors, also called as Dhulandi where people throw colours, sing songs and dance with each other throughout the day.
Traditionally, Elephant Festival used to take place in Jaipur on the eve of Holi as the elephants stride majestically parading their decorated trunks and tusks. However, since 2012, this ritual is banned but despite the ban, the holi celebrations has not lost its charm.
2. Jaipur’s Traditional Gulaal Gota
The festivity of vivid colours is back and like every year, the market has geared up providing the latest toys in splashing coloured water. Though, across the nation, pichkaris or water splashing toys take over the market during the holi season,
but, traditionally in Jaipur market- ‘Gulaal Gotas’ or ‘Water Canon Bowls’ are also commonly seen across the streets of Hawa mahal and Choti Chopar. Made by melting lacquer these water canon bowls are not only eco-friendly but safe also.
3. Rangarang Celebrations
Rajasthan Tourism is also actively involved in organizing special Holi celebrations for the foreign visitors. Held across the lawns of Khasa Kothi and near the railway station on MI Road, it features folk Rajasthani folk music and dance along with playing with colors. JKK in Jaipur is also a popular tourist spot during the Holi celebrations. It includes various local folk performances along with holding a lunch buffet. Tourists enjoy the festival by playing holi with organic colours and water.
The royals of the Jaipur City also organize Holi celebrations in the premises of City Palace wherein prominent guests and tourists enjoy the festivities in its full verve and gaiety. The royal guests have a whale of a time with traditional cuisines, folk holi music and dance performances – not to forget the myriad colours, gulaal gotas and even dunking in the pool.
4. Eco-friendly Holi
Jaipurites are also shifting towards playing eco-friendly holi and this trend has picked up in the city from past few years. Locals play water-less holi with flowers and organic colours.
In Jaipur, the temple of Govind dev ji is one of the oldest and most worshipped temples. As the festival of holi is associated with Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha, the beauty and divinity in this temple during this festival reaches its peak. Here, at Govind Dev ji Temple the celebrations starts a week before the festival. This week-long celebration includes playing holi with different colored flowers, natural colors (Abeer) and sandalwood powder.
5. Lip-smacking festive delicacies
No festival is complete without sweets. Mouth-watering local delicacies include- ‘Gunjjias’, traditionally made with desi ghee and coconut filling is thorougly loved by Jaipurities. The other indulgences include – ‘dahi vadas’ , deep fried lentil vadas, served along with curd, papadi and tamarind chutney. Locals also enjoy the ‘bhang lassi’ or thandais and ‘bhang laddoos’. These cannabis prepared food items are specifically enjoyed on the day of dhulandi.
6. Bollywood Theme Parties
Jaipur, which is also the home to the well-known resorts and hotels, hosts some of the most happening holi-themed parties. Traditional festivities are taken over by the extravagant dance, music and colours to throw some of the most happening party of the season. Whether you are in the mood for some rain dance and live dhol or some Bollywood thumkas, these Holi party promises to be just that and much more. You can also snack on from the live food counters whilst you play with organic colours and pichkaris.
Happy Holi !