entering the land of the gods

a study abroad journey

Happy Holi!

“Color and variety are synonymous with Indian culture, beliefs, and way of life. A country steeped in traditions, India charms and bedazzles all her visitors with a kaliedoscopic rendezvous.

Every street, every city and every corner has a story to tell — all you have to do is listen. But it is tradition, culture, and celebrations that truly bring this country together. One of the most symbolic festivals in the country is called Holi.”

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Holi is the festival of colors! It celebrates victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. People celebrate this day by throwing colored powders on each other. The festival begins the night before with the building of Holi fires. In the center of intersections the neighborhood builds a huge bonfire made of straw and twigs and then decorates it with strips of fabric and old kites. Around midnight the fires are lit and they burn to the ground to begin the festivities. Unfortunately we were too tired from travel to stay up to witness this but at 6am in the morning I heard music begin to play and kids begin to shout and laugh in the streets. It is a day of family, festivity, and life!

To read more about the symbolism of colors, click here!

Though Aslam’s family does not celebrate Holi (being Muslim), Aslam was kind enough to take us to a friend of his to “play” Holi.

The best way to describe the experience is say that it is a colorful water fight! Bags of colored powder can be bought along the streets along with plastic water guns. The kids run around shooting each other with water and rubbing each other with colors. But Holi is not just for the kids! Men and women of all ages were covered in powder! These pictures should give you a good ideas (photo credit: Aslam Khan):

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*Best shot of the day!*

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Harper and I felt honored to be invited to this celebration in such a safe and loving environment. We have heard it can get pretty scary in the city with strangers, drunken men, and artificial colors.

While it was fun to tag each other with color and spray water in the moment, cleaning up was a challenge. Though we used natural powders they still stain a bit. Showering once didn’t seem to do anything. This picture was taken after my first shower:

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I eventually found some makeup wipes to scrub into my tainted face, but my hair is still pretty pink in some spots….:)

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