The Many Ways of Holi: For the Uninitiated


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Holi, the spring fest of colors is celebrated in different parts of India. For those uninitiated to this festival, know that there are many different ways we celebrate the festival around the country. Of course, there are the subtle beautiful pastel colors that Holi posters play up. But, it can get much deeper, and sometimes plain murkier! Here’s a list of several types of colors/equipment/ that are used for playing Holi:

  1. Gulal\Abeer colored powders which are the main ingredients of Holi. They can be of several colors, red, green, yellow, violet, blue etc. They can be purely chemical based, or organic (for the health conscious). Gulal is used during Holi almost everywhere and is the exclusive color choice at some places like Shantiniketan where water colors are not allowed.
  2. Color filled water balloons they are filled with liquid colors and are thrown at each other. If you are on the streets of India on the day of Holi and wish to stay color-free, stay away from kids throwing these color bombs.
  3. Water guns while adults usually prefer playing with Gulal, kids prefer water guns. Fill it from a color filled bucket…and off you go. They come in different shapes and sizes and are usually available in the market a week before Holi.
  4. Silver paint this one is for the more adventurous souls. Using silver paint and black paints are gradually becoming obsolete. Not a healthy choice, these paints take a long time to rid off and badly affects the skin. If you see someone with one of these, stay away.
  5. Color filled buckets these were more prevalent in the ‘90s when every neighborhood had a few buckets filled with color and people were soaked in these buckets in a minute’s notice.
  6. Tomatoes some places used this custom long before Indians knew about La Tomatina festival. After the success of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, use of tomato during Holi has increased manifold.
  7. Eggs in some places of India, holi colors inevitably includes use of eggs. Egg prices go up during the Holi week, and eggs are stacked at the roadside with Holi enthusiasts throwing eggs at each other. At times they miss the target and it hits the passing cars, creating a nasty mess. Beware!!

Want to share some other options? Comment or write to us at editor@blankslatechronicles.com!

About Anandita Dasgupta

Anandita is a techie, an adventurer and a closet romantic. She eats to survive and backpacks around the world for nourishment. Her practical worldview is reflected in her crisp and relatable writing style. She writes on a wide range of topics, but her core areas of interest are travel, career and culture!

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Anandita Dasgupta

Anandita is a techie, an adventurer and a closet romantic. She eats to survive and backpacks around the world for nourishment. Her practical worldview is reflected in her crisp and relatable writing style. She writes on a wide range of topics, but her core areas of interest are travel, career and culture!

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