Saturday, 10 March 2012

Holy Moly Holi

My first introduction to the Holi festival was through an episode of the Amazing Race where the teams had to race through a crowd of people to find their clues, all while having coloured powder and water thrown in their faces. That's pretty much how it is, although much less staged and loads of fun!

Holi festival takes place at the end of the Winter, in Spring (aka the two days before it gets really hot) and is a celebration of colour, light coming out of dark, etc. Indians love celebration and have some sort of festival each month of the year; Holi is one of the big ones.

Our festivities kicked off with our Children's Camp, where some of the children came from each of our sites for a day of activities and a holi party. It was great to interact with them on a smallerscale and see them out of their school environment where they could just be free and excited. The camel rides were a highlight for them and I really enjoyed my ride with Vishl.

eCoexist provided the natural holi colours and the kids had a blast throwing the coloured powders at us and each other.

On Thursday we celebrated together with eCoexist at a big party on the Sangam campground -- this time with water. Imagine a giant water fight with crazy sized water guns. Or just massive buckets.
After going crazy with the natural colours we decided to venture beyond the gates of Sangam to the streets of our neighbourhood to see how the locals were celebrating. As you can see by the vibrant (and chemically altered) colours on our faces and clothing -- it was a party out there.

"Ranga pancha" is the fifth day of Holi and it just happened to fall on a school day. Our afternoon at Anand Gram involved absolutely no teaching. Instead the teachers started throwing colours at each other and naturally the students, Elly, and I joined in!

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