This week it is gonna be the festival of Holi, a religious Hindu festival. Festival of colors, welcoming spring.
The idea is that it is one big crazy, happy day where everyone makes fun with everyone. By throwing colored powders onto each other. Or, even better, mixing those powders with water, e.g. in megahuge water filled balloons, and then throwing those onto others.
Problem is that nowadays many of the used colors are chemical as in containing chemicals. The colors used to be 'natural', organic, herbal, made from flowers, fruits and spices. Point is that these natural, harmless color powders are more expensive and 'weaker' in color then the chemical ones.
The chemical ones are way cheaper and available in the most fantastic colors. The bad thing is that nobody checks what is in the powders. That might be e.g.grinded glass or heavy metals. Very dangerous, causing allergic reactions, burns and even temporary blindness when it comes in the eyes. Next to that the colors are hard to remove after Holi. Sometimes even not at all.
There is a lot of talk about the dangerous powders and there are articles in the newspapers to educate people.
|Shopwindow. Advertising herbal powders.|
|Newspaper articles around the topic of the Holi color powders.|
The hotel advises guests to stay inside on Holi in order not to get injured. On the other hand they say not to expect that anyone will throw powders and water on us tourists.
Therefor my hope is still to go out that day and catch -on camera only though!- some of the action.
It is such a photogenic festival!!!!
One photographer that published a gorgeous book about Holi is Veronique Durruty. The book is called India Holi. It was a limited edition, but I am determined to try to get hold of a copy;-)!
|Cover from book India Holi|
|One of the pictures from the book; isn't it gorgeous?!|
So you see why I would love to take some pictures myself;-)!
I figured that in the days before the Festivaldate there would be road stalls selling the powders and that that should be a pretty sight already. So when I saw this picture in the newspaper I decided to go find this place and take some pics.
Well, that was easier said then done. We could not find it, but walking around we somehow ended up in a slum and unexpectedly ran into color powders after all!!!
First, in the slum itself, a group of children was putting cobalt blue powder into plastic bags for further sale. They were covered head to toe. And when they saw me with my camera they all wanted to have their picture taken. And again....and again....They were having a blast!!!!
|Becoming an attraction myself and half of the slum wanting their picture taken....but it was fun!|
|"Yes, take MY picture! No, ME, no, ME!"|
When we finally succeeded to get away from the kids;-) and out of the slum, we came across a street market where vendors were selling the powders to the people.
We saw both herbal ones in more modest colors and the unbelievable colors of the chemical ones. Wow!
Just for the fun of it I bought some micro quantities of a few colors.
Needless to say that my day in search for Holi colors was a good one and that I came back in the hotel very happy.
As far as the actual festival goes.....we will see.... Hopefully I will be able to write a nice blogpost about it with cool pics;-).