Happy Dolyatra

Kaustav Ghosh

The month of February-March.

It is the season of colors, it is the festival of colors.

And this season when rest of India celebrates holi, then we bengalis celebrate Dol purnima/dol yatra. It is the day of full moon in bengali month falgun. Though we celebrate this festival of colors in both dolyatra and holi but there are many differences.

Chaitanya Mahapravu, the founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, who played a major part in bhakti movement in Bengal, Odisha and rest of the India. People belived that he was born on 1486 a.d in a full moon of bengali falgun month.. Purnima itself a sacred month for hindus specially who follows vaishnavism and the birth of Chaitanya Mahapravu on this tithi has made this falgun purnima tithi more significant. The festival of color started when Lord Krishna colored the face of sri radhika with the mixture of various colorful flower in this tithi and people are following this tradition.

In bengali community we used to put abir in the lotus feet of our deities in our thakur ghar(worshipping place). We offer kodma, moth, futkorai to the lord and after our puja we put abir in the feet of our elder ones and starts playing with the color by puting the abir (which is in hindi called as gulal) or rang in the face, hand of our friends, sister,brother and other loved ones. In Shantiniketan people gathered to see cultural programme like rabindra nritya(dance). Any people irrespective of its faith, caste, creed or color can join this festival of colors like we hindus believe in “Vasudeba kutumbakam” which means whole world is one family. I forget to mention before celebrating dolpurnima we do nyarapora which is one kind of bonfire and we chant-

“আজ আমাদের ন্যাড়াপোড়া, কাল আমাদের দোল। পূর্ণিমাতে চাঁদ উঠেছে বল রে হরিবোল।

Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with the ritual of Holika Dahan where people gather and perform religious rituals in front of a bonfire and pray that their internal evils be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire. You may read about the story here- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holika

While celebrating holi people used to eat various types of thandai, gujiya and other stuff. May your life become colorful always and may the color of happiness never fades away from your life.

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