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Dolchi Holi is men's fest in Bikaner

          Bikaner (Rajasthan): Holi, the festival of colours, is especially celebrated with vigour in Rajasthan. In Bikaner, the festivities known as 'Dolchi Holi', which is unique and distinct from other places, are confined to only two castes amongst Hindus and only men-folk take part in the festivities. The festivities commence with the men-folk of both the castes splashing water over each other with the help of a special 'Dolchi' or a container made of leather. Personal tragedies and other issues are forgotten as people come out in large numbers to indulge in the celebrations with great zeal and fervour. "Everybody comes out to take part in Holi celebrations, no matter what the circumstances are. These celebrations are a sign of good luck. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm by only two castes in the region and there are no clashes whatsoever now," said Vitthaldas Harsh, a Holi reveller. Legend has it that around 400 years ago, two native castes of Bikaner- the Vyas and the Harsh's had a dispute over the issue of food. Their successors decided to bury the hatchet and started this unique 'Dolchi Holi' as a means of reconciliation. The festivities conclude with the revellers indulging in playful abusing and throwing colours at each other. The festival of 'Holi' which will be celebrated on March 4, brings together people from all classes and age groups, distribute sweets and take out processions, dancing to tunes of drums in a milange of colours.
- March 1, 2007

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