Colors, Rabindrasangeet and dance all merged together with the surrounding Palash Trees in full blossom to complement the beauty of Holi. It all began with the nature-loving poet Rabindranath Tagore who introduced Basanta Utsav in Shantiniketan, Birbhum to merge the beauty of Bengali culture (its dance and music) with the natural beauty of the countryside during this spring festival. The Sal Trees and the Flame of Forest (popularly known as Palash), all add to the beauty of the event.

Girls from the University, all dressed in yellow saris, looking like a burst of golden sunflowers, sway to the beats of the music. You feel compelled to join in the festivities as most of the songs are well-known tunes and even if you are not familiar with them, you will enjoy the melodious harmonies as well as the cultural program of song and dance at the open space of University grounds. After the program you are drawn into groups of youngsters and ex-students who sing popular tunes from Tagore, surrounded by the Holi colors. In Shantiniketan, the abir, or colored powder which is thrown at one another is natural abir made from the flowers. The wide hues of colors, the songs and music, are all very heady and add to the beauty of the festivities to anyone who witnesses Basanta Utsav here. Once you have been to Shantiniketan for Holi to be a part of the Basanta Utsav, you will return again and again. As you breathe in the fresh air, the smell of flowers, new Sal leaves and flowering mango trees you will be able to comprehend what moved the poet so much that it translated into poetry and song, popular even today among all.