Udupi: The saga of culture and devotion, Holi Habba of the Marathi community showcases their spirit towards living their tradition of centuries.
The Marathi community is known for their rich folklore. Having spread over the coastal area where culture itself is life, the community is known for preserving and promoting their culture.
Hunsebettu is a small village in Udupi Taluk having 60 families that belong to the Marathi community. They are mainly employed in agriculture and Holi Habba is a matter of pride to the community.
The festival begins with various rituals at the Hunsebettu Katte Amma Temple. The chief priest performs rituals to worship the deity, after which the festival begins. Group of dancers wearing traditional attires visit every house and present their dance, singers present the myths from Ramayana and Mahabharata bundled with local stories and happenings. The dancers play their traditional instrument ‘Gumta’ and dance to the myths from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. They also recite Bajans and folklore songs. Their attire looks similar to the attire of Yakshagana. Dancers wear flowers on their attire.
The dancers on the 5th day assemble at Hunsebettu Katte Amma Temple and present their dance with their traditional instruments. They then participate in Okuli, and later take a dip in the lake. The Holi Habba ends on the 5th day with Maha Maripujothsava and Bajans along with meals served to the devotees. Meals are served twice on all 5 days of Holi Habba.
Krishna Nayak a resident of Hunsebettu says that Holi Habba showcases their rich culture. “We cannot go in a simple dress to the houses, to present the myths and folklore we go to the houses of people in the villages with the traditional dress”, he added.