The Colours of Holi One: Throwing Powder

Holi is traditionally a Hindu religious festival celebrated in the Spring season, mainly in India and Nepal.

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On top of the coloured gulal powder throwing and dancing that Holi One in London featured, there’s also bonfires, squirt guns and buckets full of dyed water being thrown about.

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Not to mention a lot more people involved in this enormous street fest than you’d ever dream of cramming into the car park space next to Battersea Power Station.

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I’ve always been fascinated by the photos of Holi that come out of the events in India. They are truly stunning.

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So when Dimple invited me to join her and Kiran at the Holi celebration here in London last Saturday, I didn’t think twice.

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Holi One festivities in London (which also travel all over the world) are really nothing to do with this Holi other than that it’s inspired by the colour like The Colour Run.

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Their website says, “the festival is about promoting the ideas of togetherness and the colour of everyday life during a day of fun and exhilaration.”

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And it was a day of fun and exhilaration.

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There were about 10,000 people there, mostly wearing all white.

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At least in the beginning.

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Up front was a stage where DJs played bhangra and other dance music to a crowd packed in crowd.

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There were occasional countdowns to big powder throws.

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There was a less powdery zone behind the dance area which is where most of these photos were taken because I didn’t dare take my camera out in the middle of the chaos!

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The three of us bought 10 bags of powder each – yellow, orange, blue, green and purple.

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On one end, there was a water area so people were filling empty beer or wine bottles with powder and water or just putting water directly into the bags.

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This made a nice sticky paste and much more vibrant colour than the powder alone.

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A few people went the extra mile and dressed in costume.

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There were feather headdresses, butterfly wings and body stockings.

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People sprawled out on the car park concrete in circles, drinking and chatting and the general atmosphere all day was really chill.

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As time carried on, our white clothes slowly became tie-dye.

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The more colourful, the better.

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The powder was all non-toxic, which was great because I definitely swallowed quite a lot of it.

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It was pretty unavoidable.

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Not that we tried to avoid it.

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Everything was covered in it.

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Once the light started to fade, the water throwing was a bit chilly!

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Eventually it was time to call it a night, go home, shower and warm up!

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Walking home on my own since the others took train, I got a lot of amusing looks, as I’m sure you can imagine.

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It all came off surprisingly easily, though I didn’t attempt to wash the clothes or shoes – they went straight to the bin.

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It was a really fun day, but it was good to be clean again!

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Did anyone else go to Holi One? Or better yet, have you been to the real Holi celebrations? 

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7 comments on “The Colours of Holi One: Throwing Powder

  1. I love all your pics. Dimple mentioned it was a blast. I celebrated Holi in India after ages this year and it is so much fun! Wish I had come with you guys to this. Oh well, next year!!!

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