Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A "Holi" Day in India

"Happy Holi!" is what somebody says before smearing a scoop of brightly colored powder across your face.  Today we celebrated the Hindu festival of spring called Holi.  There was music and dancing but it's mostly about throwing brightly colored powder, water, or best of all, water colored with the powder at anyone around.

We started our celebration a day early with a colored water fight at school.  The staff was generous and actually filled the buckets with warm water which made it the most pleasant water fight we've ever experienced.  A number of families had already left for break and the high school students were "too cool" to remember a change of clothes but it was still great fun.

H tries to spray everyone at once with his little cup of water.

N was offered some hair oil to protect her unusual (for India) light hair from the staining colors.  Even after a swim at the Marriott with Lant and Diane she was still a little grease ball, but her hair is still blonde.

Everyone gathers for one last toss of water.
Our apartment complex scheduled a time for all the resident to gather and participate.  The had a DJ blaring various Hindu pop songs (with the obligatory inclusion of Gangnam Style at one point) that kept everyone moving.  The store in the basement was doing great business selling little bags of color and a variety of water squirting devices.  One resident welcomed us with a couple of water balloons to toss at the crowd.  We wandered around for about 30 minutes tossing colors, getting sprayed, and generally having a fun time.  We tried to stay away from the corner of the celebration where the teenage residents were a bit more raucous in their celebrations.  It took some long showers and lots of soap and shampoo to get back to a resemblance of normal skin and hair color.
A slow start with water balloons

Once H got it in his mouth the ice was broken and the colors really started to fly.

"Holi" ground

A bag of color and a fistful of fun

She chose pink, of course.

There was no grey or white thrown.  That's just me getting old...luckily it's about time for another hair cut.

A white shirt is best, especially one that you don't plan on wearing for anything but exercise, yardwork, or other such activities in the future. 

N went for the stealthy and unusual black shirt option.  A Holi ninja?

Notice my watch.  After getting all clean later on I found a big stain of color on my wrist under my watch.

Notice a missing M? She spent the day celebrating with her new friends from school.

I have no recollection of anyone putting green in my hair.

Happy Holi, suckers!

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