DatesTo be Announced
LocationBirbhum district of West Bengal
Holi is celebrated all across India and is rightfully known as the festival of spring, colors, and love. The festival signifies the end of winters and arrival of blooming spring. The festival also celebrates the beginning of harvest season. It is celebrated on the first Full Moon of Phalguna Month according to Indian Calendar. The festival is spread across two days, the first day is known as Chotti Holi and most of the rituals take place on this day. The second day is known as Holi or Dhulandi and it is the day most of the festivities take place. People come to the streets and apply colors to each other. Kids play with water and colors. It is the day when enmity is put aside, and everyone comes together to celebrate the auspicious occasion.
Famous Indian poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore introduced the festival of Basanta Utsava at Santiniketan, Birbhum to bring the magic of Holi to the Birbhum district of West Bengal. The Basanta Utsav means spring festival in the local tongue. It is celebrated very much alike Holi. The festival was a huge part of Vishva-Bharati University in the district but has long since spread outside those bounds and is now celebrated as a grand festival all across West Bengal. Youngsters of the university adorn yellow colored clothes and play with colors. It is a beautiful sight to witness. The festival is filled with a vibrant and lively feel that just seems to spread with the air. Aside from the usual festivities with colors, Basanta Utsava has its take on Holi with a plethora of cultural events. It is the only place in India where you can witness both Holi and Bengali culture at the same time. The fusion of these mystifying forces creates magic not witnessed anywhere else.
Festival is brought to life by multitudes of poems, music and rhymes all sung by crowds of people. The festival celebrates the works of Rabindranath Tagore's works in all of their glory and simplicity. Aside from the music the dances are just beautiful. Natraj dance performed by women is performed with outstanding elegance and synchronization. Various Bengali cuisine can also be experienced as streets are filled with vendors putting up dishes from all parts of West Bengal. The festival is simply too good to miss. It fuses the vibrancy of Holi with elegance and sensuality of Bengali culture and presents itself as an experience that you will remember for a lifetime.
Aside from witnessing the festival, you can get yourself the perfect souvenir to take home at this festival. Bengali craftsmen are famous for their art of pottery and painting. You can easily find your heart captured by one of the thousands of different artworks put on display at this festival. Along with various handicrafts, you can also find handmade dolls. Fiber goods like sandals, bags, and carpets are also a famous and integral part of Bengali culture.
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