Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Goal #102: Experience the Indian Hindu Holi Festival (Festival of Colors)

If you haven't ever experienced the Indian Holi Festival or Festival of Colors, you really need to do it. I'm not sure where else they celebrate it in the United States but I know for sure that it's celebrated every year in March in Spanish Fork, Utah. Of course, you could fly to India and celebrate it like a native, which I think would be a zillion times better but going to Utah is a lot quicker, a lot less expensive and you won't come down with any exotic diseases that lays you low for a month.

The Holi Festival used to be celebrated by throwing petals of fresh flowers but now they use colored corn starch. The colors are brilliant and vivid which makes throwing the colors a LOT of fun. When you go, go with the undestanding that you will be coughing up colored corn starch for a week after you get back from the celebration. And you will be sneezing it out of your nose and digging it out of your ears as well. Let me tell you from personal experience, be sure to bring something to cover your car seats because the colored corn starch will get every place that isn't covered, including your seat belts. Trust me on this one. If you don't take some protective measures then you'll be getting colors on your clothes for weeks after.

The celebration in Spanish Fork started small but each year several hundred new attendees show up. The last time I went, there were thousands of people in attendance. Last year my friends told me that it nearly doubled in size from the previous year. It's a two day celebration with music, food and tons of colored corn starch.

One word of warning. Come with the understanding that very few people are going to restrain themselves. The entire time you're there people will be throwing handfuls of colored powder on your clothes, in your hair and often directly in your face. YOU WILL GET IT IN YOUR EYES!!  Understand that from the beginning. Do NOT wear contact lenses for heaven sakes. If you're worried about getting it in your eyes, wear goggles. Most people don't worry about it, though. If you do get an eyeful, just find a fountain or a bottle of water and wash it out. You'll be OK.

The important thing is to remember is not to get wigged out about people throwing colored powder all over you. Just chill and have fun. I promise you that it's an experinece unlike anything you have every done before. It's a mad house but it's soooooooooooo much fun. Look it up on the net to see what others are saying about it. It'a also good to read about how it started and why they burn the witch for part of the activities.

Watch the You Tube video below. This gives you at least a little bit of a taste of what you're in for if you decide to come.