Zamara Beej - seeing of Holi in style; a tradition at Menar near Udaipur

Zamara Beej - seeing of Holi in style; a tradition at Menar near Udaipur

Menar Holi
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Canons spitting out fire and sound of bullets and crackers echoed till the wee hours on Wednesday at Menar village situated around 50 kilometers away from Udaipur.

It was not the scene of a battle but it was the unique way of celebrating the festival of Holi not with colors but with bullets, crackers and gun powder. Those who were staying away from the village either at Singapore, Dubai or any other foreign country gather at their native village every year and the entire village is being decorated as a bride.

Termed as Zamra Beej it is the ritual celebrated by the residents of the Menar village of Udaipur a day after the festival of Holi is observed. This year too, the Onkeshwar Chowk of the village echoed with the sound of crackers, bullets and gun powder being fired from the guns. The ones on ground were deckled up in the traditional dresses with Mewadi turbans on their heads and swords and guns in their hands.

The people of the village started celebrating this ritual as Shurya Parv (occasion of Valour) as symbol of victory of the Mewari army over Mughal soldiers. Lieutenant Colonel James Tod, who was an officer of the British East India Company and an Oriental scholar had also written about this ritual in his book 'The Analysis of Rajasthan'. On this night, along with crackers guns and swords the men kept on dancing on the beats of Ranjeet Dhol (Ranjeet Drum).

Thousands of people from the nearby villages and towns reached at Menar and the celebration started at around 8 pm. All dressed in the traditional Mewari attire entered the village from different lanes challenging each other for the battle with guns and canons in their hands, its seemed like a real battlefield where the soldiers were swinging swords and firing bullets and gun powder in air from the both the sides, it took the spectators back to that era.

The scene became more interesting when suddenly a group of women with kalash (metal pots) on their heads entered the battle field and kept on singing the folk songs. Later the men stopped firing bullets and bursting crackers and headed towards the Buchari Mata Slope located around 300 meters from the Onkeshwar Chowk and returned back to the Chowk after narrating the story of victory of Mewari army over Mughals.

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