Friday, 13 March 2009

Holi: The Festival of Colour

On Tuesday night we headed down to the local market in Panaji (10th March). We wandered through the fruit section, the fish section, the spice section. The place was alive with colour, people and amazing smells, and as we made our way to the edge of the market there was a real sense of excitement and anticipation.

The stalls on the edge of the market were selling "colour" (a bit like powder paint before it has been mixed) each stall had eight sacks of different coloured "colour". Yellow, Turquoise, Purple, Pink, Orange, Red, Green. The bright colours were great. But what was better was the frenzy of the locals buying up the "colour".

All the kids were ridiculously excited and the parents were just the same.

The colour festival is one that I've known about for a while. I've seen it in Bollywood movies and seen some amazing pictures of it. So I was very excited at being in India for this festival.

I went to bed on Tuesday night really giddy about the amazing sights we would see the next day.

Naturally the morning was a disappointemnt. On our walk to the bus stop we saw nothing. No "colour". At the bus station we saw a few men with a little colour on their heads, but nothing really dramatic.

I was not impressed.

But then we arrived at Mapusa.

All the men were covered in colour.

It was great. The powder was all over the streets, all over people's faces, hair and clothes. There was bright colour everywhere. Fantastic.

But even though the day was a holy day, life still went on. The markets were still open and everyone went on as normal - just covered in "colour"!

We got some great photos of some guys, but in return for a photo thye insisted we have some colour.

This was just the beginning.

Once people saw that we already had been "coloured", they knew they could get away with adding more colour to us.

After two hours on the market our faces were covered in the brightest of yellows, pinks, purple and orange.

The women on the markets (who didn't have any colour on them) just laughed at us and told us we looked beautiful. Even though an Indian woman would never be seen with the colour on them, they seemed to appreciate the fact that we had embraced their festival.

From Mapusa we jumped on the bus to Anjuna (we were heading for the famous flea market). On the bus there were a couple of other westeners. None of them had any colour on them.

At Anjuna there was even more "colour" and more fun. Everyone was going wild with it. We walked down to the market and got covered even more.

We had the biggest smiles on our faces.

The atmosphere was great. All the locals would see you coming and would get ready to pounce, armed with their "colour". Everyone was giggling and having a ball. It was just an incredible experience.

1 comment:

  1. So finally! Holi day comes around!!!!! Lol. (For real this time though)