West Bengal celebrates Holi

March 11th, 2009 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 11 (IANS) West Bengal Wednesday celebrated Holi, or Dol Jatra as it is called in the state, with colour, songs and prayers.
Thousands of people from within the country and abroad assembled at Santiniketan, about 180 km from here, with the campus of the Visva Bharati university presenting a picture of mirth and gaiety.

The festival was a marriage of north Indian and Bengali cultures in Kolkata.

While those from the north celebrated it in the traditional style throwing colour at one another, Bengalis exchanged sweets and pleasantries.

As the day progressed, youngsters moved around their neighbourhoods in groups, hurling water balloons and smearing colour powder on one another.

In parts of the state, the festival was marked by placing idols of Radha and Krishna on decorated palanquins that were carried by devotees. People danced, sang songs and smeared each other with colour.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), at its global headquarters at Mayapur in Nadia district, observed the day as the birth anniversary of 16th century Vaishnav saint and social reformer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

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