Holi in Vrindavan and Varsana

Holi in Vrindavan

In a lecture given by Vishwarup Prabhu at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple in Chowpatty/Mumbai he mentions how Nanda Maharaja celebrated the death of Putana on the day of Holi. He also describes the beautiful Holi pasttime of Varsana, the birthplace of Srimati Radharani. Episode #23 of the 24 Hour Kirtan Podcast is all about Holi in Vrindavan, Varsana and in the rest of the world. We talk about the meaning behind the different colors and why Holi 2016 in Vrindavan was even more special, because at Radha Gopinath temple widows from Varanasi joined the celebrations for the first time.

There was palpable excitement as they smeared each other with Holi colours, as this was for the first time they played Holi inside a temple in Vrindavan. Bindeshwar Pathak, well known social reformer and founder of Sulabh International who has waged a steady campaign against ostracized widows in the country, also joined in the celebrations. The Sulabh International has been taking care of 1,500 widows in Varanasi and Vrindavan in the light of the Supreme Court’s observations in 2012.

“In an effort to bring them into the mainstream of society, Sulabh started organising Holi for them about three years ago at the widows’ ashram. But this time it is special as Holi was organised at a famous temple to give a kind of social acceptance,” Pathak told IANS, India’s Largest Independent News Service. A total of 1,200 kg ‘gulal’ and different coloured powders and 1,500 kg of rose and marigold petals were arranged for the special event. In many parts of India, widows are traditionally barred from playing Holi or participating in any other festival or auspicious functions.

Holi at Shri Banke Bihari Temple Vrindavan
Holi at Shri Banke Bihari Temple Vrindavan – Picture courtesy of Frantisek Staud

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