For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to attend a Holi festival but the chances of me making it to India this year were nonexistent. Not one to be easily deterred, I did a little research and found a festival not too far from Seattle at the Sanatan Dharma Temple and Cultural Center. I gathered a posse of close friends and made a trip down south to Maple Valley to join in the festivities. It was the most fun I’ve had in ages, with crowds of happy people, dancing, great food, outstanding music and wads of coloured powder to throw. I got splattered all shades of the rainbow and have a sneaking suspicion my hair may be streaked purple for the immediate future; here’s hoping I can rock the look. What a spectacular way to welcome springtime. Here’s some footage of the event to get you chomping at the bit to find a Holi Festival near you:
I took a ridiculous number of photos, but honestly, with a festival this colourful, how could I help myself? Here are some of the shots I got.
I got so many wonderful photos, I had to do a follow-up post about the littlest festival-goers.
The photos are fab! The colours look especially striking against the forest background.
It was the most beautiful setting for a festival, surrounded by trees on a big expanse of lawn behind the temple. 🙂
Lovely picures!! Holi is without a doubt my favourite festival! This year my colleagues and I went a little overboard with the celebrations. Best one yet 🙂
It is now my favourite festival too, it makes other festivals look a little colourless. 🙂
great photos. Been to India many, many times but never for Holi. Must be fun 🙂
It really is an awful lot of fun, hope you get to experience it for yourself sometime soon! 🙂
Amazing photos, excellent captured… 😉
Thanks Drake, I got carried away with all the colours flying around!
Love the hands shot, and SO MANY SMILES!
It was a very happy celebration 🙂 The hands shot is my favourite too. xxx
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Great photos, great colors ! 🙂
Thanks Hamburg 🙂
I have read about this and saw some pictures on Instagram but yours are fantastic!
Thanks vastly, I had a whole lot of fun taking these 🙂
HOW COULD YOU NOT!!!
We brought along some children who had never seen Holi before and they couldn’t believe their eyes. I suspect their parents had a fun time trying to clean them up afterwards 🙂
Worth the memories though!!
I know, I just love the sound of vastlycurious 😉 I’ll call you Kathryn from now on, but I’ll think of you in my mind as vastlycurious 🙂
I am – it is my bane but still true : ) Thanks!
I am too, it keeps life interesting 🙂
What is the significance of the festival?
Holi says goodbye to winter and welcomes the colours of spring. The name comes from Holika, a character from a story in the Hindu religion – wiki has a synopsis here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi#Significance
Thanks, love the photos.
What a great excuse for adults to go out and be silly!
I know! Not that I ever really need an excuse 😉
I wonder if it is as civilised in India?
I suspect it’s a lot more hectic in India, much much larger attendance for starters!
I only know of Holi from movies and have always wanted to figure out how to be part of such an incredible celebration- want a fantastic idea to find a festival not far from you. I love your photographs and am inspired to think about this next year!!!
I decided I couldn’t wait until I could afford a trip to India, so went online and searched for something local. Hurrah for Google. 🙂
I am from India and never got around to taking holi pictures. One of these days I want to go to Rajasthan or Vrindavan for Holi. Give me a shout if you are planning to come.
You’ve got a date, Debi, I have always wanted to experience Holi in India. Will let you know if I’m headed out that way. xxx
It seems like many cultures have some kind of festival/ceremony where they ecstatically indulge in colors, sounds, movement…. these pictures remind me so much of carnival in Trinidad and Tobago and even a little bit of Fasching (carnival) in Germany, although the latter is dominated by a lot of weird masks – still, color and alter-egos bloom…..
Fasching is an awful lot of fun, I love those masks 🙂
Yes, bring on the colors …. not enough of them in our world .. bring on the laughter and the fun .. bring on more festivals … bring on life. Your photos is so brilliant … about tradition, color and people.
Hurray for colour, viveka, you’re right, there’s not enough of it in our lives 🙂
Then we are two …. for more colors.
Gorgeous photos! Love then A!
Lovely, colorful pictures. caught the true spirit of Holi -fun, gaiety and a bit of romance!! Hope.. no I’m sure, you had a lot of fun!! 🙂
Haha yes, I definitely had a lot of fun, thanks 😉
Such happy photos, looks like so much fun.
It really was fun, pudpalmer, how can you not be happy with a face full of colour 🙂
Fabulous opportunity for you and fabulous of you to share the experience with us through photos, too! This was the first I’d heard of the festival… I intend to be prepared NEXT year!
Yes!!! That’s what I like to hear, next year go forth and play Holi, it’s wonderful fun. 🙂
I had no idea we had one so near – good for you for researching it, and maybe I’ll get there next year. I’m so glad you went!
Definitely put it on your list for next year! They’re going to be holding it at their new premises in Kent in 2014. xxx
Lovely photos. I went to Holi this afternoon. Busy loading up the photos. What fun!
Thanks Andrew. Loved your Festival of Chariots photos! 🙂
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I linked you at the bottom of the post http://snapflycook.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/holi-festival-of-colours-durban-south-africa/
Thanks, Andrew, your post is wonderful, how great that they played Holi right on the beach, it looks like you had an amazing time, Hope your camera recovered!
This pix are awesome and the video is such fun!
Absolutely great shots!
Oh the whole day was such great fun, I couldn’t wait to write about it, what a fabulous way to welcome the spring. 🙂
Hi Alisa, Was lovely to see these pics. i have lived all my life in India and truly love the colours of Holi. It was such a pleasant surprise to see a post by you on it. in fact I did a post on Holi too, but a different aspect. http://justanotherwakeupcall.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/dont-save-water-save-holi/
How beautiful to read about your experiences playing Holi when you were growing up, Sapna, and how sad to hear what message your son is being given at school today. We should never lose the ability or desire to play. Now, if only the colours were all eco-friendly 🙂
The good news is, there are a lot of eco friendly colours in the mrkt. Its possible to play and save the environment too. The wonders of technology 🙂 Or actually the wonders of getting away from technology! 😉
Indeed, the wonders of getting away from technology. Except for my laptop and the internet…I have so much fun here on wheresmybackpack that I am slightly addicted 🙂
I know that feeling 😉 And as a reader, I am glad you r addicted. It ensures I get a steady supply of great travelogues 🙂
Yaay. xxx Ailsa 🙂
Hi I’m from India and every March, look forward to playing Holi. The north of India celebrates it more vigorously than the south. Hence, I haven’t played it for the past two years, having shifted to the south. But it’s absolute fun! In fact, all the years that I stayed in Delhi, I realised that people there begin the festivities a week in advance. So you have to be aware and smart to dodge water balloons from rooftops and moving cars. They don’t care whether you’re dressed for work or not. If you’re out on the streets unguarded, you’re a target. Apart from that, playing Holi on the main day is crazy fun! It also makes way for a very scrumptious lunch and a blissful sleep thereafter! Great pictures by the way!
Thanks M, that’s good to know, I guess Holi in Delhi keeps you on your toes. 🙂
Oh, my goodness – so much fun! I wish I’d thought to look for a Holi festival near us – it would have brightened up our weekend for sure!
There’s always next year 🙂
I was in Jaipur, for Holi, last year and it was great fun but could not take my camera out for exactly that problem the Indian contributor indicated – the water bombs from the balconies of buildings. Another young photographic student who was staying in the same place as me had his small, but very expensive, camera completely ruined. As the day wears on the young guys on the streets become somewhat agressive also. But it is an amazing experience.
I was a little fearful for my camera too, but thankfully it survived. This Holi festival was on an expanse of grass so there was nowhere to launch water bombs from above so that made it easier. I bet Jaipur was amazing, I can’t wait to see it for myself some day. xxx
Wow I love this. I always think I have to travel to the far corners of the earth to have experiences like this. Thanks for reminding me that I don’t have to go far to experience unique culture.
It’s true, Gwen, sometimes the best adventures are to be had right on your own doorstep. I was thrilled when a quick internet seach pulled up the local temple and the info about their Holi festival, hurray for Google. 🙂
I love that were only as far as Maple Valley when you took these! Looking at them (I was looking at your photos before reading what you’d written above, I’ll admit it!) I imagined you far away, on the other side of the world. I agree with Gwen, thank you for reminding us that you don’t always have to look very far to experience something new.
I drive to Maple Valley three days a week for work, but I never once thought about seeking out and experiencing new things so close to home. Really great job!
It’s pretty cool that all this was just a short car ride away, isn’t it? Believe it or not, I actually found two other places over on the east side – Bellevue has two places that hold Holi festivals and I was talking to two girls at the Maple Valley Holi who told me the UW celebrated Holi for the first time this year too.
Just had a couple of pictures from Holi
Cool, a different side of Holi, I love that top photo, Debi, and that they used natural colour for their powder. 🙂
Very colorful, happy and festive photos.
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!
I can’t help but break out in a big smile every time I look at these shots. What a great way to welcome the springtime. 🙂
This looks epic! I’ve participated in a Diwali celebration, now I’m adding Holi to the list! Thanks for sharing and happy travels!
Hi Ailsa, maybe I’m too curious, but did they tell you which pigments they use? They’re so bright and varied…
I truly love these pictures. Enchanting and energetic as Spring itself.
I never heard about this festival before, so you learned me something new. Thanks!
Wonderful photos! Why are we all so afraid of color? They are all having so much fun.
wow. colorful holi.
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well, got your feet wet now, rather coloured, time to experience it at the PLACE itself.
Welcome to India !! Be warned, Holi happens more in the Northern India and not as much down in the south where I am.