Jaipur/Varanasi, Mar.20 :The vibrant spring festival of Holi maybe just two days away, but people in Jaipur have began traditional festivities on Thursday and danced with abandon, while in Varanasi, the spirits were equally high.
Holi, which falls in the month of Phagun, marks the spirit of rebirth and rejuvenation, as it is the harbinger of spring and new life.
People of Rajasthan's Shekhawati region celebrated Holi with Geendar, a vibrant traditional folk dance. Small and medium sized groups dance through the night to the lilting tunes of the Nagada and the flute.
Like any traditional dance, the Geendar also has special attires for men and women. Dancers of all age groups, right from five years to 60 yearsarticipate in the event. The Geendar is particularly famous in the districts of Churu, Sikar and Jhunjhunu.
In every village or town of the Shekhawati region, there are hundreds of Geendar dancers who dance the entire night for seven days at a stretch.
"It is performed during Holi in the rural areas. When spring arrives, Holi festivties begin and continue through the whole night. It starts very much in advance before Holi and continues till Gangor," said Sohanlal, a group leader.
The Geendar dance is steeped in hoary tradition and is performed in the streets with people of all ages participating with zest
Meanwhile, in Varanasi, the lively and colourful festival was celebrated on the banks of the River Ganges by youngsters with matchlessxuberance with huge quantities of Bhang (a traditional Indian intoxicating drink) being consumed.
Moreover, the event reverberated with melodious local Bhojpuri songs sung by locals who dance to these tunes.
"Holi is a time of fun and verve in Kashi, located on the banks of the River Ganges and believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. On this auspicious occasion, we get the feeling that Lord Shiva plays Holi with the Goddess Parvati and the divine pair is present among us steeped in the spirit of Holi. There is immense bonhomie and Bhang and 'Thandai' are consumed, even as all animus is shed," said Amlesh, a local resident.
The festival is celebrated with immense bonhomie and dissolves all enmity and differences.