Holi – the name of the festival itself brings a smile to our faces and it stirs up long-forgotten memories from childhood. The pranks we played, the fun we had, the first Holi played with a loved one. One of the aims of festivals is to bring together a family or community and make memories. When the celebration includes colours and water, it surely ups the ante. Because colours bring happiness to our otherwise black and white mundane life. Holi happens to be a much-loved festival all across India. Many other countries and cultures also celebrate Holi Like Festivals.
Let us explore festival of colours from around the globe:
Mathura & Vrindavan
The festival of colour in Mathura and Vrindavan is so famous it is almost a cliche now, yet the premises of Banke Bihari temple comes alive during the week-long festivities here.
The village named Barsana near Mathura has its claim to fame in the fact that they play Lath Mar Holi here. Which means if the men of the village want to play Holi with the women, then the women beat them up with a stick (lathi).
Shantiniketan, West Bengal
A small peaceful town about 3 hours from the metro city of Kolkata, Shantiniketan was the university town established by Rabindranath Tagore. The festivities happening here was started by Tagore himself and today, the sleepy town experiences lakhs of tourists especially for the Spring Festival or Basanta Utsav.
Needless to say, playing colours is accompanied by songs and dances on and off stage. The ambience is perfect as the entire place is lit up with the red blossoms that are very typical in this part of the country.
Holi or Phagwa as it is popularly called in Guyana is celebrated with much ardour in this South American country. Guyanese nationals originating from the Eastern states of India holds the biggest chunk of the population in this country. Therefore, Indian festivals are popular here, in fact, the Holi day is a national holiday.
Close to home, Thailand has a festival very similar to our Holi only there are no colours, only water here. A water fight they call it and I feel it is actually better than Holi, they say! You don’t even have to scrub clean the colours afterwards. However, we personally think that not using colour does lessen the fun factor!
Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea
After tomato and wine, it is really time to get very dirty and what’s better than mud for that? Boryeong, a town 200 km from Seoul is known for its beaches and mudflats. The mud from this area is full of minerals and great for your skin. When you participate in the mud festival, you are actually doing your skin a favour! Participants get to ski, slide or swim in mud, coloured mud is used for body painting as well!
La Tomatina, Spain
An immensely popular festival from Spain, known all over the world, La Tomatina is as good as Holi. Only you play with tomatoes! The festival happens in Bunol, a Valencian Town. The fun doesn’t end when the festival does. A fire truck hoses down the streets and participants afterwards, which is equally a fun! One big rain dance party, it seems.
Haro Wine Festival, Spain
Spain truly scores over other countries when it comes to intriguing festivals. Haro Wine Festival celebrated in the town of Haro, has the people pouring red wine over each other. People dress in white particularly for this festival and soon only red and pink t-shirts and tops can be seen.
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