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A Holi Moment in India

Holi Festival
Holi Festival

Holi Festival

Ever since I first saw photos of people at a Holi Festival exuberantly throwing powdered paint on each other five or six year years ago I knew I had to experience this first hand.

Finally did it. Last month.

It was a bit like my desire to go to the Pushkar Camel Festival in Rathjastan.  Had to do it and I did.

Don’t know what drives me, but something does.

The Holi Festival is a wonderful kaleidoscope of color, joy, happiness and fun times. Yes, it is a religious festival but there’s no prayers or actual religious observance. It’s pure fun. Perfect for the party hardy.

Holi Festival
Holi Festival

 

Made me think of the Hippies in the 1960s. And actually there are some parallels. The drink du jour made by locals is actually made with cannabis. We were offered it multiple times as our bus stopped at small towns as we rolled through the country side. I didn’t know what it was when our bus driver and tour leader turned down the offers of the drink. I assumed  they didn’t want us to have something might cause Delhi Belly, but now that I know what was in it, I wonder.    Hmmmm, maybe they didn’t want a bunch of flying high photographers. Can’t say that I blame them.

Anyway, I digress. Let’s back up.

Holi Festival
Holi Festival

I went on a Photography Tour called Three Festivals, the first being the Holi Festival in Vrindaban.

We had several opportunities to celebrate Holi.

First, was a parade in the town of Mathura, a few hours from Delhi.    Loud music. Floats. Bands. People plastering themselves, their friends, strangers and us with powdered paint. We followed along enjoying it all, trying to protect our cameras while taking pictures. What a hoot. I’m smiling as I remember the experience and write this.  And yep, I’d go again if I could.

Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival

The next day we went to Govind dev ji Temple in Vrindavan where we got there early to watch and to photograph the pre festival activity. Not only do they throw paint, but the widows throw flower petals. It was fun and colorful to see the piles of flowers being amassed.

Waiting for the Holi Festival to begin.
Holi Festival
Waiting for the Holi Festival to begin.
Holi Festival

Clouds of Color

Once the music started and a critical mass of folks arrived we all danced, took pictures, threw paint and flower petals and reveled in a good time. At points I thought there were as many photographers as participants. By the end, when the clouds of color covered us all, you couldn’t tell who were the widows and who were visitors. We were all slathered with colorful paint.

Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival

Toss your worries in the wind.

I like the thought behind the Holi Festival.

The Holi Festival is a time to throw away grudges and bad feelings. Toss your  worries in the wind. Start anew. Enjoy and appreciate friendships and fresh starts.

At one point in the peak of the festivity, I noticed a small boy, maybe 10 or 12, having a wonderful time throwing paint off the balcony onto the throngs below.  I was stationed not too far from him.

I pointed to my camera asking to take his picture and he smiled for me. Then, he reached in his bag to grab some paint to throw at me with a great deal of force. I could almost see his thought process.    In an instant he slowed down and gently tossed the handful in a  sweet slow way at me.  Truly a gesture of friendship.   Our eyes met and we both smiled. It was a lovely  moment.

Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival
Holi Festival

I think that’s what Holi is all about.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

Comments

3 Comments
  1. posted by
    Marie Preston
    May 2, 2017 Reply

    Awesome is an often overused word, but in this case it has real meaning!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      May 2, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Marie, I appreciate your comment. I have one more post to do about Holi Festival. It was such a memorable experience for me and as you can imagine, being on a Photography Tour, I have lots of photos to share.

  2. posted by
    Nihangs–Warrior Monks of the Sikh religion | DesignDestinations
    Jul 26, 2017 Reply

    […] 2. A Holi Moment in India […]

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