Vrindavan, located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most religious places for Hindus and the people who worship Lord Krishna. The Lord spent his entire childhood here along with his cowherd friends and consort Radharani. This town is home to nearly 5000 temples dedicated to Radha and Krishna and are considered sacred by various religious traditions such as Vaishnavism, Gaudiya and Hinduism in general. There are plenty of festivals and fairs that are celebrated from time to time in the honor of god, Lord Krishna.
The festivals of Vrindavan are unique, colorful events almost always involving ‘Raas’ or singing and dancing, the throwing of colors and eating several sweetmeats. The grandest festival, however, is the Holi festival or the festival of colors that virtually provokes everybody to lose all inhibitions and immerse themselves in the multifarious presence of the Lord. The significance of Holi is such that in some temples colored water is sprayed continuously all the year around and that too with a fervor matched with the devout passion of the devotees. One of the best places to see the enact of ‘gokul’s’ holi celebration is at the Gulal Kund of Braj. Here the young boys and girls form into troupes and dance the ‘Raas’ throughout the day and night regaling the audiences with the episodes from the life of the young Krishna depicting him as a mischievous and naughty yet very friendly and loving person. At the lake near the Govardhan hillock the waters are fragrant with the perfumed colors or ‘gulaal’. The ideology behind the colorful festival is the substance of Krishna’s love tales. He would often complain to his mother that the pretty damsel Radha with whom he was constantly playing was too proud of her fair complexion and often teased him for being so dark in comparison. To stop this constant harangue his mother had answered that he should color up Radha in any colour of his own choosing. Krishna quickly went and colored Radhs’s cheeks with ‘gulaal’. It is this practice that opened up the colorful festival of Holi and its several additives. In fact many a young damsel has her cheeks colored by her amour during this festival.
Diwali is a festival when families come together to celebrate. However, for the widows living in Vrindavan, Diwali is a day of living through past memories of the good old days when they used to celebrate this festival with their families, full of glee. People travel far and wide to be with their families on this occasion and for many families, this is the only time when the entire family is together under one roof. However, for the widows living in Vrindavan (Mathura), Diwali is a day of living through past memories of the good old days when they used to celebrate this festival with their families, full of glee. The Diwali shopping, sweets, crackers, lights have all become a thing of the past for the widows who are living away from their families in the widow shelters of Vrindavan now. A large number of these widows lit oil lamps at the 'Keshi Ghat' of the Yamuna in Vrindavan last night, praying for an end to the darkness in their lives. Vimla Devi (name changed) said that after her husband passed away, she was mistreated by her son and daughter-in-law, who forced her to leave the house. With nowhere to go, she came to the widow shelter in Vrindavan and has been living here for the past seven years. Every Diwali, she is reminded of the celebrations she participated in when her husband was alive. Although social organizations do try to provide these widows some happiness by organizing Diwali celebrations at widow shelters, the lack of a family to celebrate Diwali with, is what hurts them the most.
Raas Raaseshwari Shri Radhey appeared in Brij Mandal as the lovely daughter of Shri Vrishbhanuji in Barsana on Bhadrapad Shukla Ashtami i.e. eighth day of bright fortnight of the Bhadrapad month. Her village Barsana is located between Goverdhan and Nandgaon. The entire area is agricultural in nature and land beyond fields is densely forested. These forests are inhabited by large colonies of monkeys and peacocks apart from other wild animals. Peacocks entering inside the populated area and dancing on the rooftops is a common site here. Similarly monkeys entering into houses and running away with food items or anything that they may fancy about are a frequent occurrence. Brijvasi, as the residents of these areas are known, are a kind hearted lot. They do not get angered and hurt the monkeys rather they just scare them away. The area is dotted with a large numbers of natural springs and ponds which are called as Kunds. So this beautiful land has the distinction of being the playground of Radha and Krishna. In this beautiful land of Brij, Radha’s birthday is celebrated with the same joy and zeal as Krishna’s. Again the temples are decorated, special prayers are offered and devotional songs congratulating Sh Vrishbhanu on birth of a daughter are sung in chorus. Devi Radha, the mother eternal, is very kind hearted and loving. She is the driving force behind all of the Krishna’Leelas .
Aashaadha poornima day is dedicated to Guru Pooja. On this day we remember the great saints and the gurus who elucidated the mystery of the universe and the creator. Foremost amongst them is sage Vyasa, who classified the accumulated spiritual knowledge of the Vedas under four heads - Rig, Yajur, Saama and Atharva. To him goes the credit of composing the authentic treatise of Brahma-sootras to explain the background of Vedas. He also wrote the eighteen Puranas, the stories of our great heroes and saints, to carry the spiritual and moral precepts contained therein to the common masses. The greatest of epics of all times and of all climes - Mahaabhaarata - embodying the immortal song of God, the Bhagavad Geeta, also in it, is also the priceless gift of Vyasa. The Shri Madbhaagavata Mahapuran, the thrilling and devotional story of Sri Krishna, was also his contribution. It is in the fitness of things that Vyasa should be looked upon as the supreme preceptor of mankind. In his honour the day is also known as Vyasa Poornima.On this day, the temple as well Nidhivan both of the places are tastefully decorated. As we know the very meaning of the term Bihari is supreme enjoyer, such decorations are rather a daily affair. The ritual of Panchamrit abhishek (ceremonial bath with cow dung, milk, curd, honey and water) is conducted at Nidhivan in the morning. Devotees throng Nidhivan as well as the temple to pay respects to the guru and seek his grace