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Taking a Holi Holiday

For the past three days our group has been in Sarnath, a town outside Varanasi, celebrating Holi and exploring Buddhist and Jain temples.

Holi, known as the Festival of Colors, began the evening of March 1st and ended the evening of March 2nd. It is a Hindu celebration that signifies the triumph of good over evil and is celebrated by throwing colored paint onto friends, family, and strangers alike. You can use dried colored powders, or powder mixed with water. On Holi, you can expect to hear music, laughter, and surprise shouts everywhere from busy city squares, to narrow alleyways, to rooftops.

Our Dragons group played Holi on the roof of our guesthouse in Sarnath. We threw colors of pink, teal, orange, and yellow into the air and onto one another and danced to current popular Indian music. When the sun and heat became too much, we cooled off with a hose, and then danced more.

In the late afternoon after a much needed shower and nap, we explored a quiet Buddhist temple nearby and watched an afternoon prayer ritual take place. Following that, we met some local potters and tried our hand at making small clay drinking cups.

The day was rounded out by a Bollywood film showing. Back on the roof of the guesthouse, under the light of the full moon, with shouts from Holi celebrations across the town reaching our ears and incense filling our noses, we ate chocolate and laughed our way into sleep. We felt full of the goodness of life, and set the evils beside and behind us.

Happy Holi to all!