Holy Holi! I had the great fortune to celebrate Holi Festival in Dharamsala, India this year. Holi is the beautiful and exciting holiday to welcome spring by flinging brightly colored powders and rubbing them all over the faces of your friends, family and complete strangers! Holi celebrations are the craziest in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai, but Holi Festival in Dharamsala was still quite the celebration!
Luckily, everyone was more than happy to have their picture taken! I wrapped a few plastic baggies over my camera and packed some wet wipes and crossed my fingers that I could document this amazing day without sacrificing my camera!
Things kicked off around 10:00, and at first it was just the occasional person walking by with a streak of color on their forehead. Then it was a few crazy guys tearing by on motorcycles with their whole faces powdered.
Eventually, a local guy pointed down a road and nodded knowingly – “The big party will happen down there,” he told me. I headed down to a small temple and sure enough, there was quite the celebration happening outside! People had large feed bags of powder and were dumping it on each other and literally smearing it over each others faces.
The event culminated in a crazy battle-of-the-sexes human tower competition with the aim of knocking a clay vase down from a rope that was suspended across the street. It was a bit like a pinata, and I was happy to find a safe spot on balcony to enjoy the scene. The contestants were challenged with buckets of water and large quantities of powder to distract them from their quest.
Eventually, the boys won and the powder fight dissolved into a huge water fight. Overall, it seemed that things stayed relatively safe, but I know Holi has a reputation of getting out of hand.