One of the highlights of my time spent in India was getting to experience Holi. The colourful, messy and chaotic party celebrates the arrival of Spring in the Hindu calendar. For many it has become less synonymous with religion and more of one giant paint ball fight as chalky bright powder gets chucked over everyone and everything in celebration.
Known as the festival of colours, Holi takes place from today (Thursday 24th March) so if you’re heading to a Holi event, whether in India or elsewhere around the world, here are my tips on making the most of this holi moly day!
Wear white. Yes, you will be so splattered in paint and appear like you’ve been dunked in some cheap marbling kit by the end of the day but every great artist needs a clean canvas to begin with, right?
Wear cheap white. None of these fancy gladrags from The White Company, you just need a basic white t-shirt and shorts or a dress that you don’t mind getting totally ruined. Overshare alert – I even had to chuck out my white bra that I was wearing on the day as I couldn’t get the colour out despite washing it a bazillion times!
Love your lens. The powdery paint gets everywhere which makes for fantastic photos as plumes of colour fill the warm air but not so great if it gets into your camera lens or expensive gadgets. Imagine emptying a bottle of talc over your head and you kind of get the idea of how messy this stuff can be. You’ll be finding paint in your hairline, in your ears and in your fingernails for days after. Trust me. Some people wrap their fancy cameras in cling film and sandwich bags so they can still try and get a great shot but minimise any damage. Check out this vid for tips on this.
Grease up. Apparently if you rub coconut or almond oil all over your body before heading out of the clean indoors to the messy outdoors you will find it’s easier when you come to wash it all off and remove any paint that has stained your skin without rubbing yourself raw.
Pack light. If you’re heading to an organised Holi party or even just wandering the streets soaking up the infectious carnival-style atmosphere it’s a good idea to take the bare minimum with you, both to protect your stuff from being paint damaged but also because the place will be packed. All you will need it’s a small bag that you don’t mind getting ruined packed with wet wipes, eye drops (this paint powder can be so irritating especially for contact lens wearers) and a plastic zip lock bag to keep your essentials dry.
Get involved. You’re going to get dirty and look like you’ve stumbled out of some experiment in a mad scientist’s lab by the end of it but you will have some awesome memories, the best fun and get to be a big kid for a day, who wouldn’t want to experience this?!
To get you in the mood even more why not have a go at making my easy peasy chai tea recipe?
Psst…. Because I enjoyed my taste of Holi so much that I had to include it in my next novel Destination India ? The next book in the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series is out 2nd June in both paperback and eBook but available to pre-order now!