Holi is known by different names in different parts of India, with interesting stories or legends behind each name.
Holi in Tamil Nadu- Situated down south of India, Holi is known as KAMAN PANDIGAI here.
The legend goes that once Lord Shiv renounced everything and went
into deep meditation in grief of the death of his consort, Sati. Alarmed by this, the Gods decided that they would go to Kamdev -the God of love and ask him to shoot his arrow
of love on Lord Shiv, which will end his meditation and he will agree to marry Parvati,the daughter of the mountains.Kamdev, agreed, and shot the arrow, upon which Lord Shiv got angry and reduced Kamdev to ashes but the arrow had its effect on him consequently, Parvati and Lord Shiv married. Rati, wife of Kamdev then explained Lord Shiv the purpose of shooting the arrow upon which he revived Kamdev.
It is believed that Kamdev was burnt and revived on the day of Holi thus people offer sandalwood to him to ease his pain and hymns are sung depicting Kamdev's sacrifice
and Rati's pain.
Holi in Goa- In this south Indian state Holi is known as Shimgo. Goa is known for
its sprit of enthusiasm and fun. Holi or Shimgo is no different. On this day huge processions are taken out, where artists perform. People welcome the month of spring
with bright colors and feast on delicacies.
Holi in Maharashtra- Situated to the West of India, Holi is popularly known as Rangpanchami or Shimga. On this day people play with colours ,they throw colored water on each other and celebrate the festival.
The legend goes that on this day Jijabai, threw water on Shahaji and immediately after
that their engagement was announced. Their son was Shivaji ,the most powerful king
of the Marathas. Another legend goes that young Lord Krishna use to steal milk and butter from the houses in his village and that he and his group of friends were famous for that.
To celebrate this, during the day mud pots are hung high and competitions are held as to which group will reach the pot and break it forming a human pyramid. Various groups of boys and girls practice for the event, months in advance, and the prize money is big.
The festival holds its special importance in the fisher community. On this day carnivals are held and everybody indulges in merry making and drinking, in celebration of the festival.
Holi in West Bengal- The state is to the West of India and here Holi is known as DOL PURNIMA.
Like in other places Holi or Dol Purnima is celebrated here with jollity. People smear
Colour on each other, locally called "abeer", specially the red colour. They savor different kinds of sweets, Bengal is famous for, and spend the day in celebration.
In Shantiniketan, the university set up by world renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore, the students ,young girls dress up in saffron or yellow saris and wear garlands around their neck and peacefully celebrate the festival by singing and dancing, to welcome spring because of which the festival is also called -BASANT UTSAV. Where Basant means spring and Utsav means festival.
Holi in Manipur- Situated in the East, here Holi is celebrated for six days, with different rituals being performed. People make huts and then set them ablaze and the girls extract money from boys to play holi with them.A special dance called 'Thabal Chogba 'is performed on all the six days.
Holi in Uttar Pradesh - In this north Indian state people celebrate Holi as LATHMAR HOLI.
The legend goes that on this day Lord Krishna from Nandgaon had gone to Banaras and had playfully teased Radha and her friends, the girls inturn chased Krishna and his friends away. Thus, till date womenfolk in Banaras and surrounding areas, playfully beat the men with wooden sticks known as "lathi" and men try and save themselves.
Before the Lathmar Holi ,Laddu holi is celebrated where people play with colours and distribute laddus (sweetmeat) and then throw them at each other.
Holi here is celebrated to venerate love of Radha and Krishna
Holi in Haryana- Situated in the north of India is the state of Haryana, where Holi is known as DHULANDI HOLI.
It is the second day of Holi when people play with colours.The main attraction is when married women mock, beating their brother-in -laws, the ones younger to their husband with Kolras (twisted cloth), for playing pranks on them all through the year. The men try to shield themselves which leads to a lot of fun and amusement.
Holi in Pujab- In Punjab, a northern state in India, Holi is known as HOLA MOHALLA
An annual fair is organized for three days, the tradition of which was started by Guru
Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. The purpose of the fair was to bring the sikh community closer and display there military strength.Today it is celebrated in commemoration of the sikh soldiers who fought their enemies fearlessly in the battlefield.
The participants display their martial skills and later various competitions are held. Originally it was held in Anandpur Sahib but now is held in various parts of Punjab.
Kar seva or community service is an integral part of the festival where Langars, community lunch are held at Gurdwaras to which everybody contributes irrespective of their caste ,creed, religion or status.