The Holi Festivities – happy Holi 2014, by the way! – have experienced a pretty sudden rise to fame during the last two or three years. This year you can celebrate phony Holi parties in almost every little town in Europe, thanks to entrepreneurs that have been using the impressive pictures and videos of the real Holi in India to get selfie-addicted instagram-users interested in the whole thing.
So why bother thinking about experiencing Holi in India? Why not pay the extremely high entrance fee (including 10 packs of “Holi color”) and celebrate in Wanne-Eickel, München, Ostrava or Naples? Well, because, come on, really? Gotta keep your Oktoberfest in Munich and your Holi in India, right?
So should you have the real Holi fest on your bucket list? See some reasons for and against below and enjoy looking at the little gallery that I’d like to call “Faces Of Holi”.
5 Reasons for and against having celebrating Holi in India on your bucket list:
You shouldn’t have Holi on your bucket list because… it seems stupid to waste water in a region that doesn’t really have too much of it. And water will be wasted, believe me. Water is one of the most important weapons during the festivities to get the color to stick to people and make them look stupid. PLUS you will need lots of water to clean yourself afterwards. Which brings me to my next point…
You should not “do Holi”… because you might have light skin and fair hair? Maybe? Well, even if your skin is not toooo white and your hair is dark: People will still notice bits of color in your ears, the palm of your hand and on other parts of the body (if you catch my drift) days after the event. I don’t want to be a party pooper here, but not all of the colors are super eco-friendly and have been thoroughly tested before. Some colors are really just extracts of flowers. Some are super super super artificial and would never be allowed to be sold in Germany.
You shouldn’t celebrate Holi… if you can’t keep your mouth shut – literally! Don’t be drunk, too. You have to be alert and watch out for the color clouds that will go into your eyes, into your mouth and everywhere. Protect your neck, too! One of the basic strategies during Holi is to creep up to people and slap them with color from behind. These bitch slaps are usually the ones that mess you up bad…having that dry powder in your throat is, well, horrible.
You shouldn’t do Holi…on your own. Definitely not. No, really, don’t! Holi – per se – does not originally involve heavy drinking. But even in the small village where I was lucky enough to witness the festivities, the mood went from festive to playfully aggressive to grabby from time to time. If you are a proud owner of boobs, they will be touched. Accidentally or on purpose. But they will be touched.
Which is not cool, to be honest. But in the end…things can get rowdy and uncool with every festivity, music festivals, Oktoberfest, Burning Man and Spring Break alike. But, yeah, this issue right here would be a reason to under no circumstances take part in the festivities on your own – let alone in a big city where the mood might get wild pretty quickly. Never leave your group.
You should have Holi on your bucket list because… to celebrate Holi you have to go to India. And believe me, India is hands down the most amazing place on earth. India will penetrate every single one of your senses from the moment you step out of your plane: smell, sight, hearing, tasting, touch: trash fires, pigs, temples, cows, monkeys, dogs, yogis, more trash fires, cows eating sheets of paper, people sleeping basically everywhere, people making something out of anything (=recycling), even more trash fires… Words don’t come easy, man, believe me. India is awesome.
And that’s basically the ‘pro’ that tops all the ‘cons’. For me personally, Holi was somewhat enjoyable. But you can have “somewhat enjoyable” experiences without having to fly for hours. But even having spent only little more than two weeks in the country I must have experienced hundreds of little bits and pieces that were more impressive, amazing and wonderful in the end.
I’ve got a lot more stories to tell. About India, about Cuba and about Thailand. I’m just too lazy as blogging about travelling is way more exhausting as I thought it would be. So, if you have enjoyed any of this, please let me know and I’ll do more of this!
Further Reading? See Wikipedia for the meaning of Holi and mark the Holi date in your calendars for 2015 and 2016!
Holi 2015: March 6.
Holi 2016: March 23.