It is Holi time again and even though India will witness the best of it, this vibrant festival has crossed boundaries to enter other countries too! It is all thanks to the ethnic Indians in these places. So while this Monday will give us the glimpses of the Holi this year, let me take you on a trip to the Holi I celebrated last year. It was quite different from the usal Holis we have celebrated earlier. Since it was in a scenic Himalayan town of Sujanpur Tira in the State of Himachal Pradesh which was still reeling under the harshness of winter, use of water was non-existent except some daredevil youngsters who decided to defy nature! It was more about the carnival in the main grounds, shopping, an exhibition of folk culture and some live performances from some of the well-known artists. So let us embark on the journey through this photo feature and say as they famously say- HOLI HAI!! (It's Holi!).
We Were Here!
The pinks, purples and yellows adorn the street and dilapidated building on the side marking the beginning of the festival! That street leads to my home in hills and when i got up to venture out, this was the first scene that greeted me. A GOOD MORNING INDEED!
I love the Reds
Was he amused?! No! My son was petrified and wondered what had gone wrong with all the adults! Then slowly he warmed up to the entire crazy routine of getting colors on and then dusting them off!!! later he got completely fed up and went inside, refusing to come out even for sweets....
The Child in Me
This was my most favorite part....the GIANT WHEELS!! I laughed, giggled and got thrilled........ best time ever! This marked the beginning of holi festivities for me. My husband though i had gone out of my mind but hey who cares when the atmosphere around is so vibrant and celebratory!
View from the Top
A big affair in the small sleepy town. Frankly we were quite surprised at the sheer scale of it!! Looked like entire Himachal had gathered here. The views were a big reason i loved to be on the giant wheel. This part of India does not have high rises, so either you climb up a mountain or the giant wheel. I opted for the latter!
The City Parade
This is the depiction of a Hindu deity- the Kali! Hindu mythology speaks of her as the goddess who killed a Rakshasha called Raktbeej, to save humanity. This parade also showcased dance and cultural facets of Himachal as well as India. I must add it was quite entertaining.
The Colorful Competition
This is Rangoli competition. Rangoli are these colorful designs and patterns that many people in India create at the entrance of their homes during festivals. They are considered auspicious and definitely go with the theme of holi! I did not stay back to find who the winner was, but there was quite a lot of talent and dedication shown here.
The Local Flavor
It is quite an experience to sit around and listen to the local music. After a while, some people joined in to do a slow dance to the beats as well. The slow local dance I am talking about is called "Tammak" and the guys doing it look "high" and behave "high"! It was awesome imitating them later on! Holi s also about food- Gujiyas, Thandai and a host of dishes that are made only on this festival.
Shop till you Drop!
The State of Himachal Pradesh is famous for its shawls and woolens. I wanted to pick everything right from the famous Kullu shawl, Angora wool shawl to the Pashmina! The carnival market is a great place to explore handicrafts and also the local food! Must Try- a steamed delicacy called Siddu! But since my first love happened to be shawls, here is one more shot of it! Look at the work and detailing of embroidery...just breathtaking!
So, as promised these were some off beat shots and my experience of Holi festival that we celebrated last year. This year too we would bring you the amazing captures of this absolutely crazy Indian festival. If you happen to have any nice images of Holi, we would be happy to feature them with credits to you! If you want to share a story around holi....do write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org!