In India, once a year the county is greeted with colour during the Holi festival. I was fortunate enough to be in Mumbai when Holi was being celebrated.
The day began on the rooftop at Basti hostel where we were plastered from head to toe in paint. We threw paint at each other as well as chucking water around.
I brought my hula hoop out and started jamming to the music while paint was thrown at me.
We were treated with tasty samosas and fruit juice.
Once there was no skin left to colour we went to the next place. Guests at the hostel went to a techno – music party (not my thing). I was keen to go with locals to an Indian party.
I managed to avoid the tourist trail and hopped on a tuck tuck to a random party with the hostel staff. I met lots of friendly folk and hung around with them. A kind lady taught me some useful Hindi and introduced me to Bollywood songs. I was treated to some glitter in my hair before we went for some South Indian street food.
While Holi is technically only one day, the celebrations may be apparent a few days either side. Hence my earlier Holi fight with the kids in the slum.
Holi is a great way to bring people together.
It is safe to say the paint does not come off without another fight in the shower.
Top tips for enjoying Holi:
– Take a little bum bag with a small amount of money and your phone in. Make sure everything is protected in a plastic sleeve (water proofing is a must).
– Wear old clothes. It is a good idea to buy a cheap white shirt that you can keep tie-dyed as a souvenir or chuck out.
– Cover your skin with clothing as much as possible. This will not only provide sun protection but the less colour on your skin the better, as it doesn’t come off for days. I still have a purple tummy!
– Buy a body scrub for removing the paint after.
– Wear clear nail varnish before the festival and keep your nails short. The paint really does stick to everything.
– Make sure to be safe and enjoy.