Dolchi Holi of Bikaner

March 19th, 2008 - 9:55 pm ICT by admin  

Bikaner, March 19 (ANI): With Holi, the biggest festival of colours in India, being just a few days away, the general mood in Rajasthans Bikaner city is full of fun and merry-making.
The festival presents an altogether different picture of celebrations at Bikanerss Harshoka Chowk where the occasion is organized as the day of reconciliation between two particular Hindu castes who lived as foes for generations.
Legend has it that about 400 years ago members of Harsh and Vyas castes decided to mitigate their differences and turn friends after being motivated by the then Kings. The gesture of new friendship was expressed by throwing water in Dolchi, a shoe-shaped leather container, at each other. Since then the festival is celebrated as a reminder of that unforgettable reunion.
Today, men of both the communities arrive in groups from either side of a half-a-kilometer road of the Harshoka Chowk. Everyone comes shouting choicest expletives for the other community to recall the old rivalry.
Once they assemble, water filled in Dolchis is splashed at each other, dry colour is tossed and bawdy songs are sung as a part of celebrations. The women dont participate and enjoy as spectators while standing on their rooftops.
The throwing of water at each other in Dolchis is considered auspicious, as people from far off places arrive here just for getting splashed on their back at least once.
Thousands of people irrespective of their religious identity, caste, creed attend the celebrations and enjoy along with the member of these two castes.
Artists are also invited from far flung areas to entertain through their folksongs and comic presentations.
“Thousands of people gather here to get a glimpse of the celebrations. The people from all religions be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, we all celebrate the festival with great zeal and enthusiasm. It is a festival of all of us. We have been celebrating the festival since our childhood,” said Satyanarayan, another artiste.
Artistes, who are invited specifically for this occasion, start preparation in a month in advance so that maximum audience could be drawn at the venue for entertainment.
“We can leave work for Holi but not vice versa. We are all prepared to celebrate the festival and dance to its tune. It is a big festival in Rajasthan,” said Rakesh Chamiya, one of the artistes.
“We book beauty parlours a month in advance and begin preparations. This festival is celebrated in such a spirited way that everyone forgets about rest of the celebrations,” said Raju alias Razia Sultan, another artiste.
Holi brings together people from all classes and age groups in northern and western parts of India who regale dancing to the tunes of folk songs. (ANI)

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