Friday, April 1, 2011

Holy Holi

Holi is the festival of color celebrated in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka on the last full moon in March. Winter's gone and spring means color, lots of it. In some cities women beat men up with sticks as those in the crowd sing Holi songs and shout Krishna, the ultimate prankster's name, in others the festival lasts for sixteen days, but for the most part this time is considered to be the happiest and colorful day of the year. When else can the elite, shop owners, and beggars come together for some hard core dye-throwing action? It reminds me a little of New Year in Thailand- everyone excited to dunk each other in water. There's a sense of playfulness and revelry that's rare, and when we let our inhibitions go for just a moment we realize how connected we really are to each other. Even though you want to get mad because some stranger has just dunked a bucket of ice cold water on your head while you were walking to the pharmacy because of the fever you've caught from being wet for two days straight, you just can't. I imagine it's the same with Holi; it's not the most comfortable feeling, but it's a risk everyone's willing to take for such a moment of pure beauty and joy. Maybe all of life should be this full of color.

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