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Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is also known as Doḷajāta,in Orissa and Dol Jatra (Bengali: দোলযাত্রা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") (Bengali: বসন্তোৎসব) in West Bengal. The most celebrated Holi is in the Braj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana. These places have become tourist destinations during the festive season of Holi.Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March).
On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. Holi is known by the name of 'Dol Jatra', 'Dol Purnima' or the 'Swing Festival'. The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them.
The head of the family, observes fast and prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev. After all the traditional rituals are over, he smears Krishna's icon with gulal and offers "bhog" to both Krishna and Agnidev.
In Shantiniketan, Holi has a special musical flavor.

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Additional Photos by Madhumita Roy (madhumita_roy86) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 256 W: 2 N: 419] (2344)
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