Ranga Panchami is celebrated five days after the colourful festival of Holi. It is observed on the ‘Panchami’ i.e. the fifth day of the Krishna Paksha, the waning phase of the moon during the Hindu month of ‘Phalgun.’ Ranga Panchami is also celebrated in a colourful manner and is marked by throwing ‘Gulal’ and splashing of coloured water. The word ‘Rang’ means ‘color’ while ‘Panchami’ refers to the fifth day. Hence, in several parts of the country, Holi is also celebrated on Ranga Panchami. It is celebrated as ‘Shimgo’ or ‘Shimga’ in Maharashtra and is characterised by the traditional Palkhi dance. It is observed mainly by the fishing community which involves dancing and singing. In temples of Vrindavan and Mathura, the celebration of Rang Panchami culminates the festivities of Holi. Devotees play with colours on Rang Panchami day. Rang Panchami is more popular in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and some parts of North India.
Significance of Rang Panchami:
The joyous festival of Ranga Panchami is celebrated across the country. The festival is also celebrated with colours, fun, and frolic, much like Holi. Ranga Panchami has highly religious significance for Hindus. As per the legend, it is believed that ‘Holika Dahan’ or the fire which is lit during Holi purifies all the rajasic as well as tamasic particles that are present in the atmosphere. It creates a pure aura in the surroundings and fills the atmosphere with tremendous positivity. This ceremony also involves invoking several deities through the medium of colours.
There is another perspective to Rang Panchami celebrations. The main objective of to celebrate Rang Panchami festival is to activate the ‘Panch Tatva’ or the five elements that build up the universe. These five elements are earth, light, water, sky and wind. It is believed that the human body is also made of the five elements. The festival of Rang Panchami invokes these five basic elements which help to restore balance in life.
Celebrations and Rituals:
According to the Hindu scriptures, Ranga Panchami is symbolic of victory over ‘rajasi gun and tamasic guns, which are the barrier to spiritual advancement. It is celebrated with full fervour in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and some regions of North India. The celebrations of Rang Panchami resemble the festival of Holi. This day is marked by playing colours with friends and families. Hindu devotees also worship Lord Krishna and Radha on this day. They perform puja rituals to pay homage to the divine union between Krishna and Radha.