Keeping the traditional fervour and essence of the festival alive, people thronged at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan of Mathura district to celebrate Holi, the festival of colours with great enthusiasm.
Devotees in large numbers were seen at the temple with sweets and colours in their hands. While devotees stood in queues to get a glimpse of the deity, priests at the temple were seen playfully throwing colours on those gathered.
Mathura holds a long history and significance of the festival of Holi.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha's town Barsana from Nandgaon in Mathura to celebrate the festival with her.
However, Barsana, a small town situated approximately 42 km from Mathura is famous for its Lathmar Holi celebration. Women run after men with 'lathis' or sticks and playfully hit them during this celebration. The men, on the other hand, come prepared with a 'dhal' or shield.
In Barsana, Mathura and Vrindavan areas, respectively known as the towns of Radha and Krishna, Holi begins from Basant Panchami and continues for more than a month.
The people of Bengal celebrated the festival of colours, predominantly known as Dol Utsav in the state through cultural programs, marking the onset of spring season.
In Eastern India, the festival of spring is celebrated as Dol Jatra, Dol Purnima, Dol Utsav and Basanta Utsav.
Filled with colours and music, the Holi festival sees much fervour in Bengal and Shantiniketan where people begin the day singing and dancing to "Ore Grihabasi, khol dwar khol laglo je dol.... (O home dweller, open the door, the Dol festival is here)", the famous Tagore song which is sung in cultural functions on the occasion of Doljatra at many places in the state, including Visva-Bharati university.
The festival of colours is celebrated across India with zeal. People throw "gulaal" or dried colour on each other and sing and dance to mark the festival. On this day people celebrate the victory of good over evil and officially welcome the spring season.