The festival of colours
India’s so-called festival of colours, Holi, makes March a bedazzling month for travellers to the subcontinent.
Holi is a highly significant part of the Hindu tradition in India, but it also has cultural links to sects within Nepalese Buddhism.
As are many festivals around the world in the early part of the year, much of the ethos behind the tradition hinges on renewal, replenishment, forgiveness and atonement for past sins. Its timing also heralds the start of spring.
The triumph of good over evil
And at its essence the Holi Festival is a way of paying tribute to Lord Vishnu, the God of Preservation, while celebrating the triumph of good over evil.
This joyous event, held the day after full moon, encourages participation from people of all ages.
The real fun part, however, can get a bit mucky in a slapstick sense; it involves a lot of throwing of paint, plus dyed water and powder.
Most people who take part wear white, for maximum effect when the colourful stuff starts flying around. By the end of the fun, everyone looks like the sort of human canvas that Jackson Pollock would’ve been proud of.