Milkmen celebrate "Makhaniya Holi" in Allahabad

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By Virender Pathak

Allahabad, March 20 : While Holi is popularly known to be a festival of colours, it is celebrated as "Makhaniya Holi" in reverence of Lord Krishna by many villagers with rose petals, buttermilk and other milk products at some places in Allahabad.

In Allahabad's Fatehpur and Kaushambi areas which comprise many villages, the milkmen worship Lord Krishna as their family deity and thus celebrate the festival using his favourite items-milk,butter, curd and Chhach (butter milk).

On Makhaniya Holi that falls on Rangbhari Ekadashi, a few days ahead of the main Holi festival, these milkmen prepare a mixture of rose petals, butter, curd and buttermilk in drums and celebrate.

The first offering is made to Lord Krishna's idol at the village temple and then it is used to celebrate with each other by splashing, spraying with water-pistons or throwing at each other.

Krishna is known for his fondness for milk, butter, curd and buttermilk (or, Chhach) during childhood.

Milkmen believe playing Holi with Doodh, Dahi and Chhach (curd, butter and butter milk respectively), the favourites of Lord Krishna. They imagine that Krishna and his consort are among them. Krishna would try several antics for 'stealing' or 'snatching' it from the village women or getting access to these items kept at any place.

"We play Holi by mixing petals of different flowers in the butter and Chhach and offer it to Lord Krishna after which we play with the same amongst ourselves. It is so because we consider butter and Chhach to be holy, as it was Bhagwan Krishna's favourite," said Ganesh, a Holi reveller of Allahabad.

The celebrations are done amid popular Holi songs.

"Just like Lord Krishna used to steal Makkhan and Chhach to eat, we play Holi with these items believing that we are offering all these to Him," said Ram Ratan, another reveller of Holi, Allahabad.

The celebrations are held in a big way in the city's Kishanpur area, located near River Yamuna.

ANI

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