Holi (Falgutsav) is one of the best known festivals in India. Holi is rooted in our diverse culture and religious heritage. Historians believe that Holi was celebrated by Aryans who came to India from Central Asia in 5000 BC. Thus, Holi existed several centuries before Christ. There are diverse myths and legends that represent this fascinating intangible heritage.
Holi is also considered as a folk culture that has not only bound communities together but also families for centuries. On the occasion of Holi today, an attempt has been made here to shed light on the celebration of Holi by the Sharma Sabhapandit clan of Jorhat for almost 200 years at a stretch. The clan having many renowned personalities is celebrating the 197th Falgutsav in their ancestral home at Charigaon, Jorhat.
The history of this clan dates back to the days of Ahom kings in Assam. The family of Ranganath Sharma Sabhapandit came from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. Ranganath Sharma, a Sanskrit scholar, was appointed as scholar/adviser in the court of Ahom king Lakhinath Singha and the court honoured him with the title Sabhapandit. Ranganath Sabhapandit used to perform Holi (Fagua) puja every year at his home in Jorhat. The tradition was carried forward with the same rituals and traditions generation after generation till today. This is the fourth generation who has taken the responsibility to carry forward Falgutsav in a more organised manner.
The age-old temple where the puja was conducted was replaced by a new temple in 1982 in the Sabhapandits� ancestral home in Jorhat. However, the temple was rebuilt in 2010 to give it a modern look. As the celebration of Falgutsav is a continuous process, the family members came to a consensus to establish a trust for the management and conduct of the puja every year. Under the aegis of Dr Jayanta Madhab, Satyabrata Sharma, Ramya Dulal Sharma and Uday Narayan Sharma, a trust was formed in 2009 titled Sharma Sabhapandit Falgutsav Trust. It has seven trustees with an objective to raise funds from family members and well wishers to perform and manage the Falgutsav, besides coordinating with the clan members. The trust also has a website.
The festival spanning three days begins with Mesh Dah (Meji Pua), while the second day is reserved for Fagua Puja when Lord Krishna was supposed to have played with colours. On the third day, the �Gosain Furua� tradition is observed and all the family members play with colours with fanfare. In the evening, the Falgutsav comes to an end with a palnaam.