March 8 marks the day of the Holi holiday in India. It is a Hindu holiday that celebrates the arrival of Spring. It is mainly a Northern India extravaganza. People throw powdered colors and spray colored water on one another. In Calcutta, where my parents are right now, you just don’t leave your house unless you intend on getting doused in color. Here in Bangalore it is more celebrated in controlled celebrations in apartment complexes and schools. Driving into town for some lunch and shopping, we saw some college aged kiddos having fun dousing each other at bus stops and street corners, but otherwise it was business as usual.
Both kiddos learned about Holi in their Hindi classes this week. Kaden can tell you the whole story about the gods and goddesses behind the Holi story.It is a very long story and suffice to say, they tried to kill this woman many different ways and she wouldn’t go down. Carson can tell you about how the colors used in Holi stand for blood and the bonfires lit the night before stand for the fire in the story.
In terms of celebrations, according to Wikipedia, “In most areas, Holi lasts about two days. One of Holi’s biggest customs is the loosening strictness of social structures, which normally include age, sex, status, and caste. Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes and brings Hindus together. Together, the rich and poor, women and men, enjoy each other’s presence on this joyous day. Additionally, Holi lowers the strictness of social norms. No one expects polite behavior; as a result, the atmosphere is filled with excitement and joy.”
The CIS school were to celebrate Holi on Friday after school. So, Todd and I had to go on a mission this week to find Holi guns. We tried several shops/shacks/counters in Yelahanka. We finally found what we needed at this little hut called Krishna’s Gift and Fancy store. We bought one water pistol and one pump for each kid. Thankfully, our driver came in to ensure that they shopkeeper didn’t double the price for us Americans!
These are the packs of powder that you throw at one another!
Friday after school was time to “play Holi” at CIS. We all arrived to pick up our kids and drive them down the road to the Tennis Academy where the melee began. The kids were to arrive with “clothes that you are ready to throw away, water pistols, a towel, a snack, and a bottle of water.” At the advice of the yoga moms, I also coated the kids’ hair in baby oil and also covered their bodies in it–these dyes can stain for quite a few days!
They PTO had set up buckets of colored water and lots of colored powders as well that you throw at one another. Kids brought water guns and these big syringes called pichkaris. Luckily we bought both yesterday! The kids had a blast. Kaden was the last one left standing I think–covered in color from head to toe. She was so busy that I hardly got any pictures of her.
Me and my yoga mamas– Kathryn, me, Helen and Anne.
Below: Carson with a direct hit! and me with another yogini–Meena!