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Dolchi Holi of Bikaner
by Jethmal Sharma

     Bikaner: With Holi or 'Festival of Colours' just around the corner, celebrations have started in full swing across India . The festivities known, as 'Dolchi Holi' in Bikaner is unique and distinct from other places as it is organised as the day of reconciliation between two particular Hindu castes who lived as foes for generations. Legend has it that about 400 years ago members of Harsh and Vyas castes decided to mitigate their differences and turn friends after being motivated by the then Kings. The gesture of new friendship was expressed by throwing water in Dolchi, a shoe-shaped leather container, at each other. Since then the festival is celebrated as a reminder of the unforgettable reunion. The throwing of water at each other in Dolchis is considered auspicious, as people from far off places arrive here just for getting splashed on their back at least once. "Just like Braj Holi and Latthmaar Holi of Mathura , we splash each other with water filled in leather Dolchi. This is a way to celebrate the festival with peace and harmony and revel in some fun," said Hiralal, a reveler. The festivities conclude with the revelers indulging in playful abusing and throwing colours at each other. They said they would love to continue this tradition of Dolchi Holi for years to come. "This is a friendly way of celebrating Holi and we would like to continue playing it for years to come and would want that people across the country also celebrate Holi in this fun filled manner," said Vitthaldas Harsh. The festival of 'Holi', which will be celebrated on March 11 this year, brings together people from all classes and age groups, distribute sweets and take out processions, dancing to tunes of drums in a mélange of colours.
-Mar 10, 2009

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