Holi celebrations begin in Gokul

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Gokul (Uttar Pradesh), Feb 19 (ANI): The sounds of songs and drums were heard on the streets here as people from the Gurusharan Anand Ashram came out to celebrate the festival of 'Holi'.

Artists from various parts of the country got together in Gokul to perform the raas leela (dance recitals depicting Krishna's flirtatious interludes with village maidens). ingers, who render folk songs particularly associated with the Holi festival also gathered to take part in the festivities.

Holi is celebrated in Gokul by the use of organic colours, usually extracted from flowers such as tesu (Flame of the Forest).

Swami Gurusharan Anand, the head of the Gurusharan Anand Ashram said, "So (here) we apply colour made with tesu flowers and saffron. Of late, people have forgotten organic things and switched to chemicals but here we celebrate Holi in a different way, with organic materials."

"People forgot the message behind playing Holi. They started playing Holi to take revenge rather than to spread love. This is an insult to such a holy festival and holy place," he added.

Legend says that Lord Krishna played holi with dried tesu flowers, and it is the traditional belief that the Hindu god plays Holi with his devotees in Gokul.

Chandni Aggarwal, a pilgrim said, "This is the first time I have come here from Agra to play Holi. This is the first time I played Holi with Swami Gurusharan Anand. I felt very happy, I played Holi with clay, flowers, saffron and pichkari (water guns)."

Holi celebrates the survival of Prince Prahlada, whose devotion to Lord Vishnu, kept him safe when he was sent to his death by sitting in the midst of a bonfire.

Holi also remembers the love between the Lord Krishna and his consort, Radha.

Though Holi is celebrated on one to two days across the country, but for the people of Gokul, the festival lasts for 40 days. (ANI)

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