CHAYGAON, March 2 – The people of Dhowargaon and adjoining areas in Chaygaon circle of Kamrup district celebrated Holi, the festival of colours, with a three-day programme from February 27, in keeping with the traditional Vaishnavite customs, along with the rest of the State. The State’s tradition of Holi, which is more known as Doul or Fakuwa Utsav, is about five-hundred-year-old.
The celebration of Doul started at Dhowargaon 15 years back. This year, to mark the beginning of the celebration, the marriage of Lord Krishna with Ghunusha was solemnised on the evening of February 27 and the burning of the meji followed it.
Former Director General of National Museum Prof RD Choudhury formally inaugurated the celebration at a function held after the meji-burning programme.
On the occasion, theatrical performance by a Yatra-troupe, community puja, cultural procession and community Fakuwa, that is, the use of colours sportingly, were also organised.
Community marriage organised on the occasion drew appreciation from various quarters. For the past about 15 years, the organisers of the festival have been able to organise around 50 such marriages.
These marriages have been conceptualised to help the needy people, said Sonaram Saud, working president of the Dhowargaon Srikrishna Doul aru Sanaskritik Prakalpa, the organisers of the festival.
Dr Narakanta Adhikari, a researcher in the Sattriya culture of the State and a senior lecturer in History with the Dakhin Kamrup Girls’ College, Mirza, said that the entire concept of Doul or Fakuwa of Assam has been taken from the Kirtana authored by Srimanta Sankaradeva.
The great Vaishnavite saint and poet conceptualised the doulotsav and he first initiated it at Bardowa Naamghar about five hundred years back. The tradition of meji burning came to the celebration from the myth of Prahlada, the firm believer in Lord Krishna (Bishnu).
Prahlada was sought to be burnt to death by Holika, his paternal aunt. However, in the end, Bishnu rescued Prahlada and Holika lost her life. This gave the festival another name – Holi and the tradition of burning meji became its part, Dr Adhikari said.
This time, as the festival is held in the month of Fagun, it is called the burhadoul, as per the almanac and hence the festival is celebrated with a three-day programme. When it is celebrated in the month of Chat, it is called the dekadoul and a four-day programme can be chalked out for revelries, Dr Adhikari said.
To add more colours to the celebrations, a number of Holigeets (Holi songs) are there in Assam and these are mainly the products of Barpeta areas, Dr Adhikari said.