One of the most colorful and often-photographed events in India is Holi is the Hindu spring festival that’s also known as the “festival of colours” or the “festival of love.” Crowds use brightly colored powder and tinted buckets of water to cover the town—and its people—in rainbows. This one-of-a-kind festival includes folk theater performances, traditional music and regional cuisine. Its significance is to celebrate several things: the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, the end of winter, a way to be thankful for a good harvest, and for many it’s simply a fun way of meeting others, playing, laughing, repairing broken relationships, forgiving and forgetting. It lasts for a night and a day, and for 2018 it will begin on the evening of Thursday, March 1st and end in the evening of Friday, March 2nd.
A limited number of tickets are available for visitors to India who want to experience Holi in person, and celebrate it with a local family. See Details and Ticket Information Here.
A travel blogger, Regina Busse was in India not too long ago and was able to join in the fun of a Holi celebration. Here is what she reported about the event.
India’s Holi Festival, A Celebration of Equality, Life and Color!
From the far west reaches of India’s Rajasthan state, this unforgettable festival, quite literally, colored my trip! Not to mention painted, shaded, tinted and – in the case of my once blonde hair – permanently dyed.
“Holi,” also known as “The Festival of Color,” is a celebration of life and harmony. It’s a day to ignore deeply ingrained caste divisions and societal separations, instead celebrating social balance and equality between all of India’s people.
Sound peaceful and dignified? It’s far from it!
What began with friendly wisps of color across faces and cheeks (symbolizing the colorful equality shared between all of India’s people) has morphed into what it is today, a full-fledged color assault.
It’s an Easter celebration gone mad. Instead of coloring Easter eggs, people color people; and instead of hunting for eggs, people hunt people.
While spending a handful of days in the city of Jaisalmer, prior to “Holi,” a gang of neighborhood kids had already set their sights on “the tourists.” Taunted daily with the massacre they surely thought would come, our only hope was to fight back.
First necessary provision: dye. Electric blue, canary yellow, Barbie doll pink, lime green – whatever your preferred shade, a happy vendor awaited around every corner. Some “Holi” participants choose to use the powders in their natural form, either showering the dusty dyes over heads or “kindly” smearing them on cheeks and foreheads. But to battle our more pugnacious adolescent opponents, we needed heavier ammunition. Liquid dye!
Now, to “deliver the goods,” the other mandatory “Holi” item is plastic water bottles. Any old plastic one-liter mineral bottle will do. First, mix the powdered dyes with water and fill the bottle to the brim. Next, punch a small hole in the bottle cap before screwing it on tightly. Finally, place one finger over the hole, shake rigorously, and squeeze! Expertly designed for the most precise water-emitting ability, these “Holi Soakers” were no joke. We were ready for war!
Ek, Dow, Teen… Go! Bounding from our hotel stoop, we flew into the madness. Speed carried us through the first offensive line, the loose-powder battery, but as we raced into their second line of artillery, a torrent of dark maroon liquid stopped us dead in our tracks. Hit with the worst ammunition of them all – a thick, sticky, most dire of all, permanent, blood-red maroon – the gyrating mob of adolescents were no longer our main concern. Flushing the concoction from our burning eyes was.
Like a scene from “Braveheart,” we fought valiantly against the hundreds (OK, maybe 20 or 30) youthful assailants. Each squeeze of our Holi Soakers spurted forth another liquid deterrent to those enemies nearest. But as our energy and ammo ran low, the defeat became evident. “We surrender… ” a white flag raised far too late. Pinning my hands firmly behind my back, girls showered me one last time with dusty dyes while the young boys continued their liquid assault – incessantly spraying my previously white top, to catch a glimpse of their very first “Western Wet T-Shirt” contest.
The battle seemed to last a lifetime, although it probably only waged for 20 minutes. It was a valiant attempt by the Holi underdogs against the trained juveniles of Jaisalmer. But we weren’t done yet!
Sufficiently covered from head to toe in every hue, shade and tint of the rainbow, we decided to move toward the center of town in search of more “grown-up” (and what we wrongly assumed to be less formidable) opponents.
Ha! Little did we know, the adults were worse than the kids. Bands of grown men and a few brave women allowed their inner child to possess their outer adult, ambushing friends, enemies and random passersby with avalanches of color. Flying around the town square, slathering dye on everything that moved while keeping one hand free for possible groping, the men went particularly crazy. Main target: female tourists. Left arm crossed over my chest with Holi Soaker in my right, I rushed into the mob. Slapping away over-zealous hands and meeting them with a waterfall of color, I gave those men a fight they would not soon forget.
Showing signs of the onslaught that raged from early morning to high noon, the entire town resembled a bloody battle site. Red, the most prominent of all colors, dyed every inch of road, shop, person, and yes, even cows! I guess not even cows, the “holiest” of all Hindu creatures, were safe during the festival.
Retreating back to our previously stark white hotel room, I began the long process of de-coloring. Sloshing my hair around in bucket after bucket of cold water, not even four attempts at deep shampooing could rid the “never say dye” pigment – prompting the now inevitable question, “So… uh Reggie… what’s with the pink hair?”
Read more: http://www.backpackerswanted.com
Hello All! My name is Regina Busse -aka- Reggie. Travel Writer, Adventure Junky and Aspiring Travel Show Host are just a few of my M.O.’s! Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska my values are Midwest but my perspectives are global. Venturing to over 40 different countries by age 28, a once far-fetched dream to travel, has become my reality. Now my passion, my mission is to encourage and inspire others to do the same!
The first way is through the Backpackers Wanted webpage. A collection of all my blogs, travel tips and fun backpacking videos. I also created a Twitter (BackpackersWntd), Facebook and YouTube account http://www.youtube.com/user/backpackerswanted?feature=mhee to further spread my cause.
Another way is posting articles, such as these, so interested travelers can read and be inspired to hit the road!
The final way is through a travel show. I spent last winter filming a travel television series entitled, “Backpackers Wanted”, and eventually signed with a company who is now shopping myself and the show to networks. Sounds great in theory but to be noticed by a network, I need a following. I need awesome travelers like you to support the endeavor!! The more traffic to the Backpackers Wanted webpage, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts increases my chances of getting (cliche as it is) “discovered”.
In closing, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Every little visit, click, or LIKE helps. I truly appreciate and value your support!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Regina_E_Busse/1357003