Agoda in the News announces colorful new hotel deals for India’s vibrant Holi Festival

SINGAPORE (February 27, 2013), Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), has announced great deals on Indian hotels in the leadup to the annual Holi Festival, India’s famously raucous and cheerful celebration of color.

As with many festivals in Asia, the Holi celebration is a mix of astrological rituals, religious traditions, and unique cultural characteristics. In this case, Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the story of Hiranyakashipu and his son, Prahlada. After being blessed with near-immortality by the god Brahma, Hiranyakashipu grew arrogant and demanded that people worship him. Prahlada, however, was a devotee of the god Vishnu, which angered his father, who tried to kill him. However, after surviving several attempts on his life, Prahlada submitted to fate and allowed himself to be set on fire with his aunt Holika, an immortal demon. He prayed to Vishnu for protection and to everyone’s surprise, Prahlada survived while Holika was consumed by flame.

This year Holi will be celebrated on March 27, as usually goes for a few days afterward. It’s celebrated in different ways in different locations around India, but there are several common themes throughout. The most obvious one is the dancing, music, food and general merrymaking that grips everyone from young children to teenagers, parents and seniors. Large bonfires, called holika, are also set around town in memory of Prahlada’s miraculous escape. In some villages, rival groups of men will try and steal wood used in each other’s holika in a friendly competition, while contests might be held where the goal is for young boys to make a human pyramid to reach and break a pot of buttermilk suspended high above the street. And don’t be startled by women beating men with rolled-up saris or sticks – it’s just a part of the custom.

But the most visual and beautiful part of the celebration is when participants throw great handfuls of colored powder at each other in a boisterous celebration of the festivities. Deep purple, vibrant orange, fiery red, shimmering blue and a thousand colors in between are flung into the air and over crowds resulting in an intense rainbow of colors covering every inch of the celebrating masses. It makes for some great photos – but make sure the camera is Holi-proofed!

Like many things in India, Holi truly has to be seen to be believed. It’s a celebration of life and culture where everyone plays a part, and visitors are warmly welcomed. If a visit to India is on the calendar in late March, the hotels below will ensure a spot right in the middle of the action.

Alsisar Haveli Hotel 3*
Enjoy 30% off your stay. Expires July 13, 2013.

Pratap Bhawan Homestay 2.5*
Enjoy 50% off your stay. Expires May 30, 2013.

Hotel Sarovar on Pichola 3*
Enjoy 50% off your stay. Expires May 1, 2013.

Hotel Mandiram Palace 3*
Enjoy 20% off your stay. Expires September 30, 2013.

Hotel Cosmo 2.5*
Enjoy 50% off your stay. Expires June 2, 2013.

JC Chalet 3*
Enjoy 50% off your stay. Expires October 21, 2013.

New Delhi
The Lalit New Delhi 5*
Enjoy 20% off your stay. Expires September 30, 2013.

Emblem- A Boutique Hotel New Delhi 4*
Enjoy 45% off your hotel. Expires September 30, 2013.

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