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Few experiences in the world evoke as much nostalgia and fervor as celebrating Holi in one’s hometown. In India, Holi is more than just a festival; it’s a vibrant expression of joy and togetherness that permeates every corner of the country. Among the myriad of cities that embrace Holi, Belagavi stands out, not just for celebrating it once, but twice within a week.

What makes Belagavi’s Holi unique is its geographical distinction. While the main city celebrates the festival the day after Holi, areas like Shahapur, Vadgaon, and Angol, formerly under the Sangli presidency, observe it on the fifth day, known as Rang Panchami. This dual celebration adds an intriguing layer to the festivities.

holi belagavi

For the youth, this means double the excitement, but for the common folk and women, it presents logistical challenges as they find themselves confined at home on both days. It’s not uncommon to hear tales of school children and working men strategically planning their movements to traverse the ‘border’ between the two celebration zones.

The anticipation for Holi starts days in advance, with the streets of Ganpat Galli, Shahapur Khade Bazar, and Kirloskar Road adorned with roadside stalls selling an array of colorful paraphernalia – from pichkaaris and masks to vibrant wigs and costumes. Every year, children eagerly purchase new pichkaaris, adding to the excitement.

holi belagavi

While water-based colors were once ubiquitous, there’s now a growing awareness about water conservation, leading many to opt for dry colors instead. Gone are the days of ‘saree colors’ and ‘Khadi color,’ particularly in areas like Shahapur-Vadgaon, where access to such colors was easier due to nearby saree factories.

On the day of the festival, the streets come alive with the laughter of children and the roar of motorcycles. Youngsters revel in the anonymity provided by the colorful smears on their faces, engaging in traditional antics like riding triple seats, hurling water balloons, and shouting with abandon. While the trend of hanging shirts on overhead wires or stripping bikers of their clothes has waned in recent years, the spirit of celebration remains undiminished.


holi belagavi

Not to be outdone, women also partake in the festivities, knocking on doors to pull friends out for their brand of enjoyment. The emergence of public Holi celebrations has further unified the community, with music adding to the festive atmosphere. Police intervention post-1.00 p.m. ensures that the celebrations wind down smoothly, allowing office-goers to resume their daily routines.

In India, Holi is celebrated with varying degrees of intensity, spanning days or just a single day. Regardless of its duration, Holi leaves behind cherished memories, its colorful stains serving as tangible reminders of joyous moments shared with loved ones.

holi belagavi

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