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Dolyatra


Dolyatra a Hindu festival associated with the worship of radha and krishna. Also known as dol, it is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the lunar month in the Bangla month of Falgun. In north India it is known as holi or hori.

Images of Radha and Krishna are seated on swings and sprinkled with a red powder known as avir. This is the signal for everyone to start sprinkling colour or avir on one another. A few days after dolyatra, someone dresses up as a clown or 'King of Holi' and is taken around town, collecting 'tax' from whoever he meets. The money collected is later spent on a feast.

There used to be colourful dolyatra celebrations in the faridpur, madaripur and gopalganj districts. People would go around sprinkling coloured water on each other. Young people would sprinkle colour on their elders and receive their blessings in return. Children would go around different households collecting food or money to be spent on a feast. Nowadays, dolyatra celebrations in Bangladesh are somewhat subdued. [Suresh Chandra Banerjee]