New Delhi: ne of the most colourful, playful festivals ever, Holi draws revellers from all corners of not just India, but all corners of the globe, too.
Did you know that Coldplay, the popular International rock band, was so mesmerised with the festival of colours, that they flew down to India (yes, they did!) just to include the festival in their latest music video, Hymn For The Weekend. Everyone seems to love the spirit of fun and enjoyment and it’s no surprise then that the West has also dived into the barrel of colours to play Holi. Here’s a look at cool ways it is celebrated abroad…
There is actually a town in Spain that has been celebrating Holi for the past seven years! That’s right, seven! Sadabell, a town located 20 kilometers north of Barcelona, receives almost 10,000 people from all ethnicities for the Holi festivities. It stays true to its origins with colour, white outfits, music and food. A huge draw is dancing, where choreographed groups perform moves to bhangra and Bollywood beats.
Holi is a huge attraction in America. They have The Color Run — a five-kilometer run where participants have colour thrown on them at regular intervals. Heavily inspired by Holi, it originated in Utah, USA and is now widely conducted across Europe and USA. Getting colour-dyed is all the fun, as the rule is to start the run with white outfits and end it with hues from top to bottom! Quite a fun and unique way to khulke khelo, for sure!
The United Kingdom
Holi means a lot of fun, refreshments and colour in the UK too, as Indians are said to be the second largest ethnic majority in the UK. Major cities like Birmingham, Leicester and Newcastle have folks stepping out with spray cans and tons of gulaal. There are Holi parades in the streets. Manchester will have several food stalls and dance sessions, while Redaing will have singing and a Holika play.
This small country on the northeastern coast of North America is where the festival of colours is celebrated with great preparation and excitement. Called Phagwa by the locals, it marks the beginning of Spring. As per tradition, a castor oil plant is planted weeks before the festival and is burnt on the day of Holi as part of Holika Dahan. The highlight is to tuck into delicacies like gulgula, bara, chutney and potato balls.
As per a site, about 50 per cent of the Mauritian population are Hindus, which means that the festival is celebrated with exhilaration here. People perform the famous ritual of Holika Dahan by lighting a bonfire and celebrating the victory of good over evil. On Holi morning, people play by smearing each other with gulaal and squirt out coloured water from pichkaris that are from Mauritian bamboo stalks. The crowds sing and dance to music, which is accompanied by jhal (cymbals) and dholak (drums). In the evening, people greet each other with tilak and exchange sweet dumplings like gujiya.