Holi is one of the biggest festivals of India marked by color, gaiety, social gatherings and parties. Shantiniketan in Bengal, which is about six hours by train from Kolkata is the birthplace of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore that attracts scores of tourists, as the entire city observe Holi played with Abir coating on a large scale cultural extravaganza based on the songs, poetry and dance of Tagore.
The festival of Basant Utsav or Holi is an Indian festival celebrated primarily in the eastern part of India in early March, and is a party to celebrate the joy of life. the month of March also called Phalgun locally is also the prelude to the season of spring. It is a very ancient festival where everyone celebrate by applying colours and hugging each other, while forgetting the animosity.
Three days of celebrations takes place among the inhabitants of this rural town, which includes ancient dance performances such as Chhau, a World Heritage festival, or those of Baul mystics. Citizens welcomes tourists and visitors with a spartan tent set up specially for the event.
The otherwise quiet city always welcomes the festival of Vasant Utsav, the Spring festival with particular enthusiasm, according to the traditional practices. Students and teachers of the Rabindra Bharati university, often dress up for the occasion in yellow, adorned with garlands of flowers, which are arranged in addition to the usual chromatic exchange of lively cultural dance based programs, folk music and public readings of the work the poet, involving foreigners and visitors in the celebrations.
We went into town, at Santiniketan, to celebrate with hundreds and hundreds of people from the surrounding areas, or from Calcutta, who take a little drive out of their towns to the countryside, to spread the colored powder at Tagore's abode.
What's different in festivities at Santiniketan from the rest of India is that in the other parts of India, it is much more violent, in the sense that because anything goes at Holi, everyone has the excuse to get crazy and are ready to form street gangs to smear anyone with colored water, made of chemicals as people throw colored powders, and palpate the girls scream. In Shantiniketan through an exchange of colored strokes, it is a nice local tradition.
In this time, India is a carnival of colors where people spend all their time to celebrate with family and friends by throwing colored powder called Gulal throughout after drinking the famous bhang, a glass of milk with marijuana.
During this period, India is a carnival of colors and the aim is to have fun. It is also a symbolic act that signifies the end of the winter and welcomes the arrival of spring, as a massive demonstration that breaks the monotony of the city life with colors.