Sunday, March 04, 2007

Holi, the festival of colors

Holi is is an annual and popular Hindu spring festival. It takes place over two days in the later part of February or early March. On the first day, a bonfire is lit at night to signify burning Holika. On the second day, known as Dhulandi, people go around until afternoon throwing colored powder and water at each other. A special drink called thandai is prepared, sometimes containing bhang.

Ready to throw some colors!

Most AIESEC trainees were to celebrate Holi together. But before that, I had to safely reach the meeting point. My mobile carefully wrapped into a small plastic bag, I left my place at around 11am wearing my oldest clothes. As my flat is in a really narrow street, the first challenge was to get out of it without being hit by the water thrown from the numerous balconies. Unsuccessful. Completely wet, I finally found a rickshaw to bring me to Lajpat Nagar. On the way, I had to get out of the auto to buy some colors and some festive kids took the opportunity to throw me some green powder. The game had started ;o)

From there, packed in three jeeps, we drove north for about an hour... The place was great. The house was of normal size but the garden was huge and really appropriate to play Holi. When we reached the property, dozens of colored kids were already chasing each others. We spend the whole afternoon throwing colors and water, dancing, drinking and playing soccer. Lot of fun!

Coming back by metro and rickshaw, I reached my place at around 10pm. The second part of the game was about to start and, trust me, it was really less enjoyable... I had put some oil in my hair to protect them from the paintings but hadn’t covered my face and body with it. Two hours in the bathroom later, I finally emerged almost clean!