Not as famous as the Holi traditions of Vrindavan and Mathura, but Lucknow’s Holi Ki Barat – a procession that is taken out in Chowk area of the city on Holi, has a history of more than 50 years to it. Both Hindus and Muslims participate in this procession or toli, and that’s what makes it so special.
The Barat, complete with the band and baaja, starts at around 10 am in the morning, from Koneshwar Mandir, and goes upto Akbari Gate, and then through the by-lanes of Chowk, before culminating at the Chowk Chauraha.
Throngs of people are seen dancing, applying gulaal to each other and having a gala time. There are also many attractions such as horses, elephants and even camels! As the procession progresses through the roads of Old Lucknow, it is showered by rose petals and flowers by the people.
The same day in the evening, a street market comes up in Chowk, that stretches from Koneshwar Temple to Gol Darwaza on Khun Khun Ji Road. The street market is more like a fair, with stalls selling cheap wares, some toys and rides for kids. The market comes up in the evening at around 6 pm and goes on till 12 at night.