See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskWjzZGr
As I exited my room I was bombarded by coloured powder. Our instructors and the staff of Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School had initiated the Holi celebrations!
Everyone in our yoga course joined in and headed to the rooftop of our building where we had a colour fight and sprayed each other with water. It is absolutely necessary to wear clothes you don’t mind throwing away afterwards because the colour stains.
The streets depict a colourful warzone and if you don’t want to become a target: you must stay indoors. No mercy is given. Even motorcyclists and pedestrians are bombarded with colour or water from above or from street level. It is also popular to put colour on people’s cheeks. Leading up to March 13th coloured powder is sold in the streets. A small bag costs 10 rupees.
After breakfast, we took to the streets to join in the festivities. Everyone had smiles on their faces and was in a good mood. We stumbled upon a large colour-filled party in the centre of Tapovan with loud music and lots of dancing. Business and shops shut down for most of the day and open in the late afternoon. In the evening, I joined my instructors and friends at a local neighbourhood bonfire and dance party. It was an amazing surreal experience and I definitely want to celebrate Holi when I return to Canada.
Leading up to Holi, my classmates and I hiked to a small waterfall as well as a large temple in Tapovan overlooking the Ganges before joining a ceremony beside the river. It included speeches in Hindi in English as well as passing a torch around and moving the aroma of the fire over one’s body.