Happy Holi, happy new you!
“Happy Holi, madam!” the hotel owner shouted when I came downstairs for breakfast. The usually shy and polite gentleman then ran up to me and and swiftly smeared some red powder on my forehead. Oh dear. Within a few hours, I was covered in all the colours of the rainbow and hadn’t laughed so much in years. As I washed off the stubborn dyes at the end of the day in the Ganges river (this was up North in Rishikesh, where the water still runs clean and clear) the sun started setting and painted the sky with the most stunning hues of pink, orange and red. I felt reborn.
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates a new year and the beginning of spring. It’s been described as a ‘free-for-all carnival of colours’, where the entire population plays, chases and colours each other with powder dye and water. It gets pretty intense, with people using huge water guns and throwing water balloons from buildings, but it’s all in good spirit, and it really brings people together.
To many Hindus, Holi represents a new start; a chance to end conflicts, a day for forgiving and forgetting. What I realized that day on the banks of the Ganges, is that in order to make a new start, you must first forgive yourself. In other words: we all need to give ourselves a break sometimes. So even if you don’t got head out today with an enormous watergun and bags of dye, I wish you a very happy Holi and a fabulous ‘new year’! May it be a colourful one..
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