“Sometimes all you need is a little splash of colour “
Isn’t the above quote true? Be it any situation or circumstance just a little bit of colour adds wonders to it. Nobody would want to live a life in monochrome, would they? That’s when festivals come in and try to make our lives colourful.
One such festival is Holi which is celebrated in India with great fervor and enthusiasm across the length and breadth of the country. It’s rightly called as the “Festival of Colours” as people enjoy spraying each other with colourful water and colours also known as “Abeer” & “Gulal” .
Holi has many stories associated with it in the Indian Mythology, a prominent one being the story of Lord Krishna & his consort Radha. Lord Krishna was dark in colour and used to worry that none of the girls would want to marry him, so Krishna’s adopted mother Yashodha playfully advised him to go and rub any colour he wants on the girls faces so that there is no difference between him and the others.
Lord Krishna took this piece of advice seriously and rubbed colours on the face of Radha and her friends. After this incident Radha fell in love with Lord Krishna and till date their story of love is considered as an example of ideal love, because of this, Holi is also called as the “Festival of Love”.
This festival is also celebrated in many other countries with different names but it also has counterparts across the world which are similar to Holi and can be as messy and fun.
Some of the festivals which are like Holi in the world are:
1. Battle of Oranges – Italy
As the name suggests, Its a battle between groups using nothing but Oranges! It is celebrated in the Northern City of Ivrea in the Turin province. It has an interesting history of how the festival began where the commoners had fought the tyrants against their oppressive rule. Approximately 500,000 kg’s of Oranges are stockpiled and used in the fight.
2. La Batalla Del Vino (Battle of Wine) – Spain
Imagine you are with your friends and drenched completely in red wine, Exciting isn’t it? This is exactly what happens in this festival which is held on a mountain in La Riajo, Haro, Spain.
The locals climb the mountain and throw wine on each other, they also use water pistols – a la “pichkari” and buckets of wine to drench everyone in it. Haro is the only town in Spain which has this festival & is also regarded as a festival of national interest, which means everyone has to participate in it. 😉
3. Mud Festival – Boryeong, South Korea
This festival is held annually in a town of Boryeong which is approximately 200 kms south of Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the biggest festivals in South Korea where millions visit this sleepy small town of Boryeong and get involved in mud fights, massages etc on the beach there.
It owes its popularity to the minerals in the mud there which is used for its cosmetic properties. So all the beauty freaks just go and smear yourself in mud 😀
4. Chinchilla Melon Festival – Australia
Chinchilla is a small town in Queensland, Australia and is know as the “Melon Capital of Australia” . The Melon festival is celebrated by melon skating, melon iron man, melon bungee, melon bulls eye, melon tossing, and a few more activities. Its an absolute delight for travelers, so if you are visiting Australia in mid February, do not forget to be a part of it.
5. Els Enfarinats – Spain
This festival is celebrated in the town of Ibi in Alicante, Spain in December. People dress up in uniforms and fight each other with flour and eggs while staging a mock coup d’etat on December 28 celebrating “Day of the Innocents” . They cause an absolute mayhem using their ammo which are just flour & eggs.
6. Songkran festival – Thailand
This festivals begin on the Thai New Year and is easily one of the most popular festivals in Thailand, this is the closest which a festival can get to Holi, as the Songkran festival is celebrated by pelting water bombs and splashing water bombs on each other. That’s not all, at some places even elephants are made to spray water on people using their trunks, Now how cool is that! 🙂
The festival also has a religious and historical significance as it is said that water will purify and wash away sins and bad luck.
7. La Tomatina’ Festival – Bunol, Spain
How could this festival not be on this list, its almost like the “Battle of Oranges” held in Italy but instead with tomatoes and is free for all to participate. It begins when a person climbs and tries to retrieve a piece of ham from a greasy pole, that’s when people start pelting each other with tomatoes.
An Interesting fact for you is that after the festival has ended the streets are incredibly clean as the acidity content from the tomatoes cleans up the streets remarkably well.
8. Holi One – Multiple Locations
Holi one is a festival which is held every year and bears a striking resemblance to Holi (The name itself has Holi), they organise this festival each year to promote the idea of togetherness in a fun and exhilarating way.
Thousands of people attend this festival every year dressed in white and enjoy the colourful atmosphere, the drinks, music etc.
9. Life in Color – Multiple Locations
This festival began as a college event in Florida and has taken the event circuit world by a storm, its also known as the “World’s Largest Paint Party” with over 500,000 tickets being sold out annually. The participants drench each other in various colours of paint, the most famous one being the “PAINT BLAST” and enjoy the head thumping music along with a host of other shows.
Do you know of any other festivals like holi which resembles like our very own colourful Holi Festival? Let us know in the comments section.