Monday, March 5, 2018

Holi, Festival of Colour

The one thing that Joe wanted to do while we were in India is to attend the Holi Festival.  Our friend Subhash made that happen for us in spades.

Subhash suggested we drive to the city of Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.  It is where Holi began.  Scores of people from all over India and the world descend on this little town to celebrate the special holiday.

Holi is a Hindu festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, a day to play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.  It is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.

The night before Holi, we went out onto the street for a 'practice run'.  It was a good idea to get a glimpse of what we were getting ourselves into the next day.  Let me tell you, it did not prepare us at all!

Children love to play Holi.

Pyres were built all over town.  The night before Holi, a priest blesses the pyre before the bonfire is lit.  This ritual symbolizes burning the devil.

The bonfires were huge.

This cow didn't seem too concerned about the fire.

People even built small bonfires inside their homes!

After we played Holi on the street for a bit, we went for dinner at a restaurant where this little girl couldn't help but add more colour to my face.

We were planning to meet Subhash at 10:00am Holi morning but he called at 9:30am saying, "Things are starting to happen on the street.  I think we should go out now."

And so we did.

Joe was so excited for the festivities to begin!  His white outfit didn't last long.

Everyone was in a happy mood on Holi!




Joe and a new friend.

So many people wanted a selfie with the foreigners.

Dancing in the streets.

No matter what happens on the street, food must still be prepared for the hungry revellers.

Faces of Holi.

Another component of Holi is water play.  People had super soakers and water guns while others were spraying hoses from rooftops.  In a matter of minutes the roads became slippery and muddy.  Since we'd been on the streets for two hours and the crowds were growing, we decided to walk back to our hotel and get cleaned up.

Later that evening, we went to the Chandrodaya Mandir Temple.  Again, everyone was in a good mood for Holi.

There was a party goin' on inside the temple!  Live music, dancing, singing and all around merriment.

These women asked me to join their dance.

It was another fantastic day with the one-and-only Subhash Chand!

P.S.  It is now three days post-Holi and Joe is still sporting a yellow 'do.

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