Monday March 1st 2010 the Festival of Colors. Also known as Holi.

Still tired of the previous day I stayed in bed a bit longer. At 08:30 am a quick breakfast and off to the gym. There I was invited to join in the celebrations of the festival Holi on the back of ABS Gym on the playgrounds.

My colleagues had prepared me a bit and so I went with Safdar to shop for some clothes during the weekend. I was told the paint is not washable and so some other clothes seemed appropriate for I did not bring any old clothes.

From Mumbai to Pune Safdar and I had seen my fires being lit. This was already part of Holi.

Details about Holi:

  • The name, the night and the fire of Holi
    The name Holi comes from the burning of demons like Holika, Holaka en Putana. The burning symbolizes the destruction or liberation of evil.
  • Colors
    The colors used mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. In the past the colors would be created of plants mixed with water and placed in water sprayers.
    De kleuren markeren het voorbij gaan van de winter en de komst van de lente.
    Today the colors are based on chemicals and people throw powder at each other after which they are sprayed with water.
  • Regions
    India is a big country divided in regions and religions. This is why in different regions different meanings can be combined with Holi. Since I am in Maharashtra I will explain what I learned about Holi of the Maharashtri. More information can be found at Wikipedia referring to the Holi link *.
  • Maharashtra
    In Maharashtra, Holi is mainly associated with the burning of Holika. On the day of Holi firewood is placed in formation in front of houses and central locations. In the evening the firewood are lit and every household will make an offer of a meal and desert to the fire god.

My experience was really good with this festival. The people were so friendly and shared this festival together celebrating as one. People took the time and during the whole day people would celebrate. For me this was a special experience and if any are able to ever participate, I would highly recommend it.

Happy Holi! *

* link to Wikipedia (in English)