Holi is a time for celebrating. Traditionally a Hindu holiday marking the last full moon in the last month of the Hindu Calendar (a day called “Phalgun Purnima”), it is a festival of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year. A time for renewal, Holi offers a chance to forget past conflict, forgive, pay debts, and give your relationships, and yourself, a clean slate. Holi is an opportunity for a fresh start… and a lot of fun.
On the morning of Holi, a carnival of colors begins. Armed with handfuls of dyed powder, people romp about, throwing clouds of color on each other until everyone is coated in a rainbow of pigment. Neighbors and friends, complete strangers, rich and poor, young and old, men and women, all play together, no one is excluded from the festivity. Some have water-guns or balloons filled with tinted water, others beat drums, dance and sing, giving a soundtrack to the enthusiasm of the day. People laugh and celebrate together, forgetting any prejudices.
The joyful celebration of Holi is spreading across the globe so you may have seen a festival of colors in your neighborhood: a rainbowed cloud collecting over a field as people run around in a fun game of chase, or maybe a few families on the street with red, green or purple hair and smiles on their faces in a “Holi hangover.” But there’s nothing quite like the lively feeling of a Holi jubilee in India. Last year in Bharatpur, WT travelers enjoyed a great Holi color romp with our beloved husband and wife Trip Leaders Hashmat and Priya Singh. Next year Hashmat and Priya will lead an expedition to Rajasthan with an incredible Holi celebration in Siana where travelers and locals alike will share in the exuberance.
So shake off the cold, say farewell to winter, and enjoy the vibrant colors of spring!
-Photos by WT Trip Leader, Hashmat Singh, Hidden Rajasthan and the Holi Festival
-Text by Photoblog Editor, Sommer Antrim