The Dole Yatra is one of the grandest festival of the Hindus. It is celebrated every year in the spring in honor of Shri Krishna and Radhika. Both are shown as swinging together on a small throne which is beautifully decorated. It begins in the full moon-day of the month of Fagun. It continues till the Basanti Puna.
Its Origin :
The festival originated in this way:- There was a terrible demon known as Merasura. He looked like a sheep in appearance. The inhabitants of Brindaban were greatly teased by him. They appealed to Lord Krishna to free them from his clutches. Shri Krishna put him to death. The Dole Yatra festival commemorates the occasion of the ruin of this asura (demon) every year.
So every year in the night preceding the day of the festival an effigy of the demon was burnt. This ceremony goes by the names of Merapara or Chachur.
Sacred to the Vaishnavas:
The Dole Yatra is the most sacred ceremony of the Vaishnavas because it is celebrated in honor of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu.
A Festival of flood of rejoicing :
This festival of Dole Yatra brings in a flood of rejoicing. There are merry making and rejoicing in every side. People are lost in amusements. Men, women and children join together in fag or abir. They fill long syringes which are made of tin or brass with colored water, particularly red. They throw in at one another. They do not spare passers by. This amusements gives pleasure to all. Nobody goes without a share in it.
How are Idols Worshipped on this occasion :
There are great rejoicings in houses where idols of Shri Krishna are worshipped. God Krishna is worshipped with great pump and show. The priest offers him Tulsi, flowers rice and swwetments. This Puja does not allow sacrifice.
The invited guests are first rubbed with fag or (abir). They are drenched with colored waters. Then they are fed with sweets. Some people read in this festival and spiritual books to attain salvation.