Holi is one of the second biggest festivals for the Hinduism following across the world. Dhulivandan is a festival associated with Holi celebrations and popularly known as ‘Festival of colors’. Prominently Holi is celebrated for two days all over the India. The first day is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi or Jalanewali Holi and the next day is the main festival, Dhulivandan or Rangwali Holi, Dhulandi or Dhulheti.

It is the festival which celebrates the victory of good over evil by burning holy bon-fires a night before. It is a spring festival also known as the festival of colors and love hence also known as Vasant-Mahotsava. The most popular Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Mathura and Vrindavan. It is also associated with the divine love of Krishna and Radha.

When is it observed?

Dhulivandan is celebrated on Thursday 24th March 2016 which falls on the next day of Poornima i.e. on the first day (pratipada) of the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar. Dhulivandan or Rangwali Holi is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated by Hindus all over the world with great joy, spectacle and cheerfulness.


According to Vedas Shri Vishnu performed Dhulivandan at the beginning of Tretayuga. Actually Lord Vishnu began His ‘work’ through the incarnation of various radiant colors. The festival is also believed to be a celebration of Radha’s undying love for Lord Krishna.

It is believed that Krishna was jealous of Radha because she was fairer than him. He pestered his mother Yashoda about Radha’s fair complexion so much that she asked him to put color on Radha’s face and change her complexion.  And Lord Krishna did that seriously. This prank of Krishna later became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities. Since then, coloring the faces became a tradition on the occasion of Holi.

It is also believed on this day Lord Shiva turned Kaam Dev (Manmadha) to ashes, hence to honor the event Dhulivandan is celebrated.


The ashes of Holika Dahan extinguished day before Dhulivandan are considered sacred. People apply these ashes to the forehead as an honor. Therefore this day is known as Dhulivandan (dhuli is ashes or soil and vandan means to bow down).

Dhulivandan also signifies to burn all the impurities of the mind, such as egoism, pride and lust, through the fire of devotion and knowledge. This is the real spirit of Holi. The spring season is the manifestation of the Lord, according to the Bhagavad Gita. Holi is said there to be His heart.


Dhulivandan celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the Holi eve. People rub ‘gulal’ and ‘abeer’ on each other’s’ faces and cheer up saying, “bura na maano Holi hai”. Whole environment fills with colors. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colors”. This colorful festival bridges the social gap and renews sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’.

People ware new clothes to play colorful Holi. Amidst all this activity people relish gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional Holi delicacies with great joy.

Dhulivandan is an important festival in Maharashtra and Goa. It has great significance for agriculture and farming communities. “Bhaang” is a unique drink to the festival of Holi especially in North India and Maharashtra.

In the Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than a week. The rituals go beyond playing with colors, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.

Dhulivandan is celebrated with great vibrancy and vigour not only in India but all over the world with great pomp and exuberance.

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