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Sydney, NSW, Australia
Photographer. Writer. 45yo Indo-Fijian Australian. Glam Feminist. Coconuts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

HOLI day!

For those that don't know, Holi is the Hindu Festival of Colours, celebrated by young and old, rich and poor and people from all religions... regardless of color, race, sex or social status... it is truly a festival of colours. 
...and literally a time to paint the town red...and orange and blue and yellow and pink...!

Holi is undoubtedly the most funfilled and boisterous of all the Hindu festivals.  People smear coloured powders and splash coloured water on each other, have feasts and celebrations in the evenings and generally go wild!  Holi is also marked by loud, noisy and grand processions, which are accompanied by folk songs, dances and much, much merriment!

Please note: all this joy-crazy activity...not so much in non Indian countries.  No processions and not much powder but much laughter, noise and fun! 
If you're in Sydney and want to join the festivities, head down to Holi Mahotsav at Darling Harbour this weekend!


Holi is very much a festival of new beginnings... of resurrection... of Spring life... It's not a coincidence that Holi is always around the same time as Easter but Holi is determined and celebrated by/on the first full moon of March so the dates change every year.

Speaking of full moon... today's full moon is the biggest full moon in nearly 2 decades!!  Despite what you read, don't become a lunar-tic ... J... just raise your face and absorb that moonshine.

Speaking of moonshine* ...and don't you just love how everything is connected??... A special drink called bhang is prepared and indulged in during Holi time.   By special, I mean "special"That special drink is made from cannabis!!! 
*moonshine - illegally made alcohol!

The most boisterous and the final day of the festival is when, draped in white, people throng the streets in large numbers and visit each others home and smear each other with bright hued powders and squirt coloured water on one another through pichkaris (big syringe-like hand-pumps). It's a wonderful mess! And very significant.

First is the symbolic significance. The 'filling in' of a blank canvas with all the vibrancy and colours of life.

Originally Holi was a festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land but there are many religious and theological legends concerning the origin of this festival. 
There is the story of Holika and Holi, being a Spring festival and Spring being the season for lurve, is also associated with the (Hindu) God Krishna... the God of Love.

For more information click this. (In case you haven't already noticed, all links open in new windows)

The 2nd purpose was rather practical!   Holi falls during the Northern hemisphere Spring when the weather transitional period is believed to cause viral fevers and colds.
Thus the playful and messy throwing of the coloured powders had medicinal value. The colours were traditionally made from medicinal herbs prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors.

Alas... this is no longer the case.  the coloured powders are now all made from synthetic materials and are toxic.  The Wiki link above provides more information on this.

Holi is a confirmation of good triumphing over evil (the Holika story) and the affirmation of the beauty of life... without colour there is no life, without life there is no colour...

I have not celebrated Holi the way it should be celebrated, for decades... but I try to live my life like a permanent Holi-day...
May the colours of Holi paint your life with love, happiness, prosperity, joy, peace, and success.
Wishing you all a very Happy Holi.

ps. yes I am actually posting on the day and what's more... posting early!  I am so prepared today!!  Pre-wrote the story yesterday, got dressed -today!- took pics etc et voila... I'm a blogger!!


Tanvi said...

Wish you a very Happy Holi too - Fabulous Dusk! :) I love the burst of colors.

I do not play Holi but am always fascinated by the idea of it :) Do not appreciate random people smudging color on my face (and rest of the body :P)

from ©

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Happy Holi Dusk.
Remain as colorful- forever.

Vivek Nanda said...

Happy Holi :)

Leia said...

I have never played holi and I would REALLY like to! It's so interesting to read that the throwing of colors used to be medicinal. Why can't the colors still be prepared with Ayurvedic herbs?

Spring is wonderful - the whole world wakes up - and I love the fact that every single culture/tradition has a way to celebrate the coming of spring. Holi, Easter, Navroz, Poila Boishak (that's the Bengali Hello Spring festival)... etc.

And you look spring-like and bright and fantastic! I usually pre-edit photos and get them ready for blog posts, but all week I've been posting what I'm wearing on the very same day, so I've been feeling like a 'real' blogger too, heehee. Have a great Holi!! :D


Polka Princess said...

Loving the multi-colored beads on your wrist dear....Have a fun & colorful Holi!!!! :))

Misfits Vintage said...

I LOVE IT - Happy Holi Day to you Dusk.

The colours are so beautiful and happy - sunshine yellow and hot pink - and the bracelet, the earrings, the shoes! You are so exquisite.

And I believe you do live every day like Holi day!

Sarah xxx

Vintage Vixen said...

Happy Holi-Day! I've always wanted to play Holi but never manage to time my trip to coincide with the festivities. xxx

Anonymous said...

I wish I had known this was would have been interesting to see how the holi-day might have been celebrated at an Indian/Hindu restaurant in the American midwest!

simple girl..... said...

what a burst of colours.. happy holi babe...

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I am starting to realize that every time I visit I want to take away one of your beautiful pics and put in my inspiration folder. today is no exception- you are sunshine!
the Citizen Rosebud

annie said...

They have a festival of colors here... to celebrate this holiday I believe. :P

VildesVerden said...

I love the shoes!