Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Holi and Springtime - March in Delhi

In early March the Indians celebrate Holi, to mark that winter is over and summer is coming. We were lucky enough to get invited to celebrate this event at a farmhouse owned by some fo Susanna's Indian friends.

Holi is a festival of colour - quite literally! One of the main events is the smearing of coloured powder or liquid all over each other. It's great fun, but very messy.

After the attack. People who have been following my blog for a while, might remember that I got attacked for Holi last year in Darjeeling.

This is Sidsel who accompanied me and Susanna to the party. She is my successor as political intern at the Embassy, so we have long conversations about that work and have also made a couple of completely unrelated pacts (to drink old horrible tasting Feni and learn the lyrics of "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot). To see her version of this day, visit her weblog here.

As I mentioned, this super cool celebration took place at a "farmhouse". This does not imply that the setting is one of cows and chickens running about (unlike in Delhi itself). Rather a farmhouse means a luxurious residential house or mansion, set on a large parcel of land on the outskirts of Delhi. The weather was lovely, the setting beautiful, and the arrangement wonderfully done.

A look at the (free) bar, serving all sorts of products.

Something in my drink... what could it be...? Ah! Coloured powder.

As the afternoon progressed the spirits got more and more lifted and the coloured attacks became more vicious. Some crazy guy even drenched the girls completely in coloured water. Yeah okay, it was me!

And those not prepared to take it, would have to be chased down.

There was time for a game of football. Purple versus slightly less purple.

The final dance. The hosts had rented a huge sound system blasting out the newest Hindi hits. This is toward the end of the afternoon, after a moderate to heavy alcohol intake.

It is not coincidence that Holi is in early march. This is springtime in Delhi. It's getting warmer and our veranda becomes extra alive with life. Here's a big black bee of some sort, is enjoying our flowers.

And we even had a partial lunar eclipse in India in March. So I got up in the middle of the night to catch this picture of the moon being covered by the earth's shadow bathed in orange-red light. When I asked her Susanna didn't want to get up to see it, but the next morning upon seeing the picture she scolded me for not forcing her to come up and see it. But perhaps I should have, it really was a marvellous sight and a shame she missed it.


oreneta said...

That photo of the moon is absolutely amazing....the link to your friend's blog didn't come through.....

Esben said...

Thank you oreneta. I am really glad I pulled myself out of bed, even though it was hard at 3.30 in the morning.

And thanks for the heads up on the "missing link". It was a pure mind slip on my part - fixed it now.

sushilsingh said...

Holi or Phagwah (Bhojpuri) is a popular, Hindu spring festival, observed in North

India and Nepal, also called the Festival of Colours. In West Bengal, it is known as

Dolyatra or Boshonto UtsavThe Indian sky s changing - the March winds are

coming in and winter begins to bow out. Holi is the festival that carries the

country into the bright days of summer.
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