Monday, 25 March 2013

Importance of Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand

Kumaoni Holi has its very own importance in Uttarakhand. It is the historical and cultural celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi in the region of kumaon, Uttarakhand. Kumaon people have highest regard for this festival as it signifies the victory of good over evil and the end of the winter season that brings the new sowing season which holds great importance for agricultural communities in North Indians.

Kumaoni Holi has its uniqueness due to its musical affair that has been in the form of the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi and the Mahila Holi. All these different musical affairs start from Basant Panchmi, and continues for almost couple of months. The Baithki Holi and the Khari Holi have touch of melody, fun and spiritualism, and these songs are especially based on classical ragas of India. The Baithki Holi is also known as Nirvan Ki Holi or Holi of Salvation.

The Baithki Holi is basically a form of musical gathering that starts from the day of Basant Panchmi and keep continuing till the Dulhendi. The Baithki Holi songs are mainly based on the Indian classical ragas but heavily being influenced by its Kumaoni folk musical tradition.

The Khari Holi usually starts the day Baithki Holi starts or sometimes a little later. It is mostly celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon. Group of men gathers to sing the Khari Holi songs that are much more Kumaoni in flavour filled with the classical tradition.

The Mahila Holi is very much similar to Baithki but composed exclusively by women.

बलमा घर आयो फागुन में -
जबसे पिया परदेश सिधारे, आम लगावे बागन में, बलमा घरचैत मास में वन फल पाके, आम जी पाके सावन में, बलमा घरगऊ को गोबर आंगन लिपायो, आये पिया में हर्ष भई, मंगल काज करावन में, बलमा घरप्रिय बिन बसन रहे सब मैले, चोली चादर भिजावन में, बलमा घरभोजन पान बानये मन से, लड्डू पेड़ा लावन में, बलमा घर…' सुन्दर तेल फुलेल लगायो, स्योनिषश्रृंगार करावन में, बलमा घरबसन आभूषण साज सजाये, लागि रही पहिरावन में, बलमा घर!

Rituals of Kumaoni Holi...

Bonefire of Holika in Kumaon is known as Cheer that ceremonically made, is known as Cheer Bandhan. It takes place fifteen days before Dulhendi (Chharadi). The Cheer is burnt a day before Holi, and it is known as Cheer Dahan that symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

Dulhendi, which is also known as Chharadi, is made up of flower extracts (Tesu flowers). It is being gathered from the trees, dried in the sun and then later mixed with water to produce orange-yellow coloured water.

Cuisine - Special Culinary preparations for Holi include Gujia and Aaloo Gutuk, fried potatoes seasoned with jamboo (a Himalayan spice).

Celebrate Holi with Nature! HAPPY HOLI!