Holi Boys

(Andrew) I was looking forward to Holi since Antarctica. Now it has come and gone. Not without leaving behind a splash of color in our lives.

According to one legend, Holi originated when the Hindu love and music god, Krishna, showed his affection to women tending their cows by throwing colored water at them. Holi is celebrated by songs, dances and, the most fun and important component, throwing powdered paint called gulal at each other.

The first ceremony was the Holika bonfire the night before Holi. The story behind the bonfire is this: the demon Holika wanted to kill Prahlad, her nephew, by burning him in a huge bonfire but she was killed during the process and Prahlad was saved by Lord Vishnu because Prahlad was devoted to him. Before our bonfire was lit there were a couple of ceremonies because Holika is the religious part of Holi. Then, the huge pile of dry reeds was lit. At first the fire was small but it grew to the height of 30 ft! We could feel the heat from 50 feet away. When the flames died down some men came in and rescued a burnt tree in the middle with their bare hands; I think the tree represented Prahlad. We drove back to the hotel with all 12 of us in a 6 person Jeep.

On the morning of Holi I woke up in the Holi outfit (loose, baggy, white, cotton pajamas) because I had slept in it that night in anticipation. Breakfast couldn’t have taken longer. Finally it was time to go. We all took a picture before our wearable canvases were painted on. The whiteness didn’t stay for more than 5 minutes. Already we were smeared with purple, pink, red, yellow, orange and green. Paint was everywhere on everyone participating; in the hair, on the face, on the clothes, in the ears, up the nose, inside the bellybutton, in the lungs, and the worst, in the eyes. All the staff were coming up with a tray of paint, smearing it on our faces and saying, “Happy Holi!” Traditional music was playing and Indian dancers were dancing with no care in their lives. Then came our ultimate weapons, the water balloons. We were chucking them at everyone and I even jumped up and popped one on top of our guide Shruti’s head. Everyone cheered when the sprinkler turned on. All wet people’s colors melded together to make a brownish hue. The color didn’t matter though, what mattered was the fun.

Holi is a chance for rich and poor to be equal for one day, partly because you can’t recognize anyone.

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8 Responses to “Holi Boys”

  1. Carter Wilcox 22. Mar, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Ha! That’s amazing! I’m sure you two not only had a blast, but were ferocious warriors. I certainly get that impression from your picture! 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of India,


    “Do not wear sunglasses near monkeys. They will jump on your head take your glasses and slap you. And it HURTS! They are as strong as professional wrestlers!”

  2. Wow! That seemed so amazing. This is probably one of my favorite articles I read since you started the blog. I’ll see you soon!

    Carly 🙂

  3. Hi 6X, I’ve been marveling at your adventures and how ably you’ve been journalizing them. I’ve also been sharing your pictures, words and videos with many friends who are universally blown away by the experiences you’re having and sharing with the rest of us.

  4. Hi people…
    That sounds like so much fun! Sometimes I don’t really want to be you (hint hint funky foods) but when I heard about this I did!!! LUCKY!!!

    PS… what’s with the hair? Reis I can see you with a buzz cut but Andrew you look so different

  5. Hi you colorful 6!

    Was great having had you here over Holi! The pictures says it all.

    I hope you managed to wash out the paint by now; my hair still has a tinge of red, but it brings back fun memories every time I look into the mirror.

    Wishing you a fantastic onwards journey, and hope we’ll meet again somewhere, sometime!

    Greetings from all the Amanbagh Family!

  6. When are the White’s not the Whites? When they are every other color of the rainbow!
    What a day of color and fun with you! Cant wait for rest of the pics!

  7. Hey explorer’s-Just catching up on your adventure…wow…unbelievable! Can’t image living it! And Dover, yeah, I saw a turkey cross the road the other day….enjoy-Keene’s

  8. Andrew,

    Great post! Sounds like you had an awesome time. It must have been a really interesting experience. Also, I agree with Margaret. Your hair does look really different. Nice pictures!