If you’re a regular reader here you might have noticed I mentioned recently that one day I’d love to take part in the Holi celebrations in India. Well, it might not quite have been as exciting as India, but I’ve just taken part in some Holi celebrations Scotland style!
So, what is Holi?
Holi is a religious celebration of spring, which is usually observed by Hindus primarily in India and Nepal. The beginning of spring is marked by throwing coloured powders and water at everyone around them, as well as dancing, singing and other festivities. They believe it is a perfect way to welcome the colours of spring and a change in the weather.
So, after finding out there were Holi celebrations taking place in Scotland I was desperate to go. I headed down to Rouken Glen Country Park and followed the sound of the music to lead me to the celebrations.
When I arrived there was a dance workshop taking place with lots of people joining in and having so much fun, whether they were good at it or not! I definitely wished I’d got there earlier to take part so that I could be having as much fun as they were even though I’d almost certainly be rubbish at it!
When the dance workshop ended I walked around the other stalls taking it all in. There was kite making, face painting, tie-dying, and, my personal favourite, Henna.
I quickly joined the snaking queue to get some Henna done. As I waited in the queue I couldn’t help but notice how friendly everyone around me was. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits and were laughing, joking and talking to friends old and new.
While I waited in the queue for Henna it was growing close to time for the colour fight to begin. Eager people, who couldn’t quite wait for it to be time to begin, started to burst open the bags of brighly coloured powders and wipe them on their friends and family around them. A lady who was already covered in powder walked towards me smiling. “Happy Holi” she exclaimed brightly, as she swirled red and pink pigments onto my face. I couldn’t help but laugh and smile like the people around me.
By the time I had my hand adorned with beautiful Henna it was time for the colour fight to commence. I headed to the edge of the area where people were beginning to throw the powders and felt the pounding of the drums pulsing through my body. Watching everyone throwing powders, smiling, giggling and having the time of their lives was wonderfully infectious.
I took the plunge and headed into the middle of the colour fight. Random strangers threw powder at me, sprinkled it over my hair and all over my clothes. It was a dizzying collection of colours, people darting through the crowds and an air of general merriment that I absolutely adored.
As large clouds of coloured powder began to rise above the people taking part I realised that everyone was joining in, smiling and enjoying themselves regardless of their race, age, gender or anything else. In the areas where Holi celebrations are widespread, it is said that the festival breaks down all of these barriers, and from witnessing this small celebration of Holi in a park in Scotland, I can well believe it.
It was refreshing to see so many people so happy. People were forgetting the things around them, any troubles they may have and being swept up in the euphoria of being able to act like children again. I left the Holi celebrations with a massive grin on my face and feeling absolutely on top of the world. It has made me even more determined to witness Holi celebrations in India, on a grander scale and with more people, more colours and more fun!
So, would you like to take part in Holi?