Every March in Nepal and India, natives go a little crazy during the celebration of Holi, one of India’s oldest and apparently most enthusiastic festivals. Holi originates in Painted 1ancient Hindu myth but is very much alive and well as a popular national holiday in 2013. Everyone was off work, and we even had 51 in attendance during our teaching in the village.

Holipaint 2 celebrates the triumph of good over evil, but it is now mainly a harvest festival which marks the end of winter and the “cold season,” which from my perspective seems to be a shift of about 7 degree upward, but we are located in the south of India, and perhaps the change of seasons is more dramatic in the North. It has regularly been 100 plus F since we’ve been here, topping 105 the last couple of days and headed for 120 by May, so the “cold” season is entirely relative. Somewhere in the complicated storyline of the myth that spawned Holi, the god Krishna seems to be chasing a group of handmaidens with some kind of paint. Now, like our Halloween, the least has become the first, and it is the paint that everyone associates with this holiday.

All the markets were selling baggies loaded from large piles of brilliantly colored powdered dyes, which are apparently colored flour that is mixed with water. During the long partying and hard-drinking night and following day, the dye is flung at all passers-by, Hindu or not, celebrants or not. People are pulled from their cars and doused with buckets of paint. th

The next day we saw many multi-colored Indians walking about and some still throwing paint. As we entered the freeway ramp on the way home at 5 pm, we passed a group of four Indian men on the shoulder, no vehicle in sight. They seemed to be fighting with each other, and one of them was spread-eagled on the ground, unconscious either with drink or “failure to duck.” Most of the celebration seemed to be in good fun and humor, with the occasional over-indulgence. No one seems to resepaint 3nt being caked from head to toe in some eye-shattering fluorescent color, which is what happens to anyone found on the streets. There were many children of all ages running around enjoying themselves with hair and clothing all scarlet, green, yellow, or purple, or a mix of all.