Depending on the position of the moon, Dolyatra is celebrated in March on varying dates each year, and this year it falls on March 7. The celebration is similar to Holi and marks the end of the Bengali calendar. The holiday was created to honour Lord Krishna and Radha’s eternal love and bond. It commemorates the day Lord Krishna declared his love for Radha. The colourful powder known as Phag is applied in the following sequence: first to pictures of deceased family members, and then to the feet of elders as a sign of respect. Following this, the powder is liberally applied to faces in a significant manner.
The background of Dolyatra
Dolyatra, also known as Doljatra, is a religious festival observed when the final full moon of the Hindu calendar is visible. Although the holiday is similar to Holi, the procession and purpose are distinct.
Holi is observed to celebrate the arrival of spring and to commemorate the death of Holika, the evil sister of Hiranyakashyap who attempted to murder his son Prahlad. On the other hand, Dolyatra celebrates Krishna and Radha’s love.
Although Dolyatra also uses coloured powder in their celebratory processions, the powder is used in a specific order and in a variety of ways to represent the significance of the holiday. In addition to coloured powder splashes, Lord Krishna and Radha’s statues are decorated and embellished. These statues are placed gracefully on decorated chariots and swung from end to end. Men are responsible for applying coloured powder to the idols, while women are encouraged to sing bhajans and devotional songs.
The initial day of Dolyatra is referred to as “Gondh.” People believe that Lord Krishna visited Ghunucha on this day. To commemorate this, a bonfire is lit in front of the prayer house, and an idol of Lord Krishna is paraded. The idols of Krishna and Radha are carried throughout West Bengal as cries of “Hari Bol” reverberate through the air. The second day of the procession is known as Dol or Bhor-Deul. The coloured powder is applied to the photographs of deceased family members on this day. The coloured powder is also used to seek the blessings of elders by applying it to their feet.
When the blessings of elders are received satisfactorily, the custom of smearing others with powdered colours commences. People also bring Rasgullas to the homes of their loved ones when they pay a visit. People celebrate with more colour on the third day, which is also significant. On the fourth day (“Sueri”), hundreds of people participate in prayer, worship, and other activities.
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5 FUN FACTS ABOUT DOLYATRA
Dolyatra is the final Bengali festival of the year.
The bonfire symbolises the destruction of “Agira,” who is responsible for numerous diseases.
It is believed that the custom of throwing coloured powder stems from the mythological love story of Radha and Krishna.
Lord Krishna and Rahda were never married, but they had a romantic relationship.
Radha was Lord Krishna’s wife in an earlier incarnation.
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