Holi Festival in Jaipur
Jaipur Travel Blog› entry 5 of 8 › view all entries
March 1st, 2010 – by: tocca
For those who don't know what Holi Festival is, let's just say it's, in a way, an equivalent of the occidental carnival, or of the russian Maslenica. A way to celebrate the arrival of spring. In this way, there are a couple of similar things : party, drinks, bonfires, ... But there are also some huge differences.
Actually, this festival has its roots in hinduism. I'm not a specialist on the question, so I'll just let you look by yourselves on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi). As you may learn if you take time to go and read that, the festival is way more than just "we make bonfires, we party, and we paint each other". But if you're celebrating it in big cities (like we did in Jaipur), you don't really discover all this other part.
For us, everything began the day before March 1st. With people starting to throw colour powders to everyone's face, and saying "Happy Holi !". With bonfires lit at sunset, and people playing music, dancing, and drinking around. With all shops closing one after another (excepted the ones selling colours, alcohol and drugs), and all public transports stopping their activity. With people starting to get crazy all around the city. Men, mostly (not to say only). On this night, we prefered going home (we were hosted by a jaipuri CSer) early and not getting into trouble (being the only girl out in the middle of drunk men could have been quite uncomfortable for Alex's second day in India.
The day after, it was all about painting each other. First with the "easy to remove" colour powder. Then with the "not easy at all to remove" powder along with drums of coloured water. In the meantime, we were drinking banglassi (lassi in which they brewed drugs), eating snacks, dancing, ... After a couple of hours like that (and dozens of layers of paint on ourselves), we went to visit friends in another neighborhood (compared to the other days, almost nobody on the roads.
Oh, and don't even try to wash your clothes afterwards... Even after hours and hours of handwashing, the water still comes out pink/blue. I dared trying to wash the "cleanest" piece of clothes (the only one that wasn't making water turn pink anymore) in machine with other clothes, and... everything got coloured. Happy Holi !
Still, even despite of that, celebrating this festival among friends and families really made it a positive experience. And during all the rest of the trip, as we were remaining a bit more colourful as usual, everyone kept telling us "Happy Holi". But we weren't the only ones, as many other people still had painted shirts, or took some time before going back to work. Because of that, there were no bus driving from Fatehpur Sikri back to Agra (2 days later), so we had to take a taxi. Well, actually, he was asking way too much, so we just decided to walk to the main road (it was 1.5km, and a tractor offered us the ride) and try to find other buses there.
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