Shimga-Holi Festival in Kokan-Part 2

Last weekend was a fun for all with the festival of colors, Holi. Along with splatter of colors, I am very sure, a lot of water was also wasted to clean the mess it left. So there went by the thought of Eco-friendly-Holi. I don't get one thing; even if we use natural colors don't we still require more water than the usual to clean floors, our self and the let alone the garbage created by plastic bags which carry those colors. At least over the years the water balloons which were a pain are reduced, that's my observation. Let me know if you differ.

Two years back I had written about how Holi is celebrated in Kokan region of Maharashtra. Click here. This post was before marriage in my native town Kosumbh, Ratnagiri. But it was just one part of it.

I had spoken about how the Gods and Goddess came home but today I share with you how Holi begins in villages of Maharashtra, well this my I am showcasing my "new" native town after marriage i.e. Kumbharkhani, Ratnagiri. we girls are lucky we get everything, Double. I got 2 natives, cool na :) 

To start with it is called शिमगा / Shimga. The villagers first get a mango or beetle tree without branches from somebodies field. They all dance and get it to the spot which is close by to the village temple. The tree is hoisted like a flag thus embarking the start of the festival. The tree stands till the God's return from visiting all the village houses. Mostly by Guddi Padwa, New year of the Maharastrians the tour is over and then the God's return back to the temple.

Villagers getting the Mango Tree

Temple in कुम्भारखणी , रत्नागिरी 

Drummers welcome the dancing Mango tree

The Mango Tree is raised into the air to pole it.

The drummers continue with great enthusiams.

Once the mango tree is in place it is worshiped and then the next step is the Holika Dahan /होलिका दहन  i.e. the burning of the wood pile. 

Now, the wood used in this case is tree trunks, tweaks, hay pile and dry leaves which are already on the ground or from trees which might have a weed factor to the paddy fields. The villagers orchestra a lovely show of assembling the Holika.   

 When the Holika is ready the priest performs a small pooja and then puts a garland then with coconuts in had people go around the Holika.

After people have asked for blessings and asked all the negativity in their life to be burned down in Holika it is lit with fire. In seconds the fire engulfs the woods and flame soar high towards the sky.

 The Gods and Goddess then are bought out of the temple in a chariot / पालखी.

  The ladies can go and then offer their prayers and offerings / ओटी.

Mom  offering prayers.
Next day on-wards the villagers prep their houses to welcome the Gods home. Checkout how here.

In this entire process there is no damage to the environment or loss of water. The smoke coming out of the Holika doesn't contain plastic or non-degradable items hence is non-pollutant and in fact cleanses the air of any bacteria and shoos of the insects. So I guess going back to our roots should be the new trend.

Hope you all had a Happy Holi!


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