Madhya Pradesh is known for its cultural heritage, wild life, jungles, folk art and handicrafts. It is known as the heart of India as situated at the centre of the Indian map. Holi festival is celebrated by every individual of Madhya Pradesh with full tradition and customs. Holi is famous by the name of Rangpanchami played by the local Bhil tribesmen located at the west of Madhya Pradesh. They celebrate this festival in a unique way.
In Madhya Pradesh, Holi festival is celebrated for five days. It has its own history to celebrate Holi and last this festival on fifth day known as Pancham Holi. It is said that on this day Maratha Holkars brought Maratha tradition of Rangpanchami after he conquered the state. Both the festivals, Holi and Rangpanchami are interrelated and thus the festival of colours is played in the whole Madhya Pradesh on the fifth day.
Holi is celebrated with theme of ‘victory of good over the bad’. Every year it comes in the month of March also known as Phalgun month. It is celebrated by singing special Holi songs, dance on them, eating and distributed sweets and drinking bhang in the form of lassi. Folk dances are performed by the local people. They are dressed in their traditional clothes which are very colourful and attractive. All the cities and towns are fully decorated with flowers and colours. Indore being the capital city of Madhya Pradesh celebrates this festival for five days. After five days of Holi festival, Rangpanchami is celebrated on the streets of old Indore. Local state government of Indore sprinkle coloured water on the road.
People in Madhya Pradesh believe on the historical stories of celebrating this festival. Holika Dahan pooja is done to celebrate the victory of Prahlad. Holika was the sister and Prahlad was the son of demon king Hiranyakashyap. Prahlad was a very big devotee of Lord Vishnu. One day king decided to kill his son with the help of his sister. Holika sat on fire along with Prahlad. Holika get burned completely where as Lord Vishnu save Prahlad. From that day, Holika Dahan Pooja is done to burn all the bad evils in the bonfire.
Holika Dahan Pooja is performed one day before the Holi festival. People burn bonfire and sing and play songs around the bonfire. They make small images made of clay or wood. They burn these images in the fire in order to get rid of all the evils and welcome the victory of good things. People worship Lord Krishna. So in some place of Madhya Pradesh, people celebrate Holi in the same manner as it is played in Vrindavan and Braj. They make small groups to break the pot with buttermilk filled in it. People standing along throw buckets full of coloured water on them in order to stop them from breaking these pots. Only one group is announced as the winner. The winner will be called on the stage and the head of the society give some cash prize to the whole group.