The mischievous grin is followed by the greeting, “Happy Holi!” Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival, known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. The festival is said to signify the victory of good over evil, and the arrival of spring. It’s celebrated all over India and now around the world, and even in Kathmandu!
Most people thought we were crazy to miss Holi in Delhi, since we left the day before; but after reading a lot of posts and talking to several Indians, we decided Ella would absolutely hate being aggressively touched in the face, etc by random strangers. We were all wary of signs that the festival gets out of hand in big cities and also becomes an excuse to grope women in the streets. Most people warned us it should be celebrated with family or in a village with people you knew, rather than a big city where the revelry is a little more out of control. So, in the end, after extensive debate, we decided to for go it all together.
Then, we arrived in Kathmandu and, to our delight and trepidation, discovered they were celebrating Holi that day! Our taxi driver assured us that people were good about only playing with others who were obviously playing. We were warned to watch out for water balloons filled with color dropped from buildings and maybe little ones with water guns!
Since we’re only in Kathmandu 2 days we couldn’t wait to start preparing for the trek, so we decided to brave it. We really had a good time running errands and watching all the fun! We decided not to join primarily because we didn’t have clothes to lose to it, as crazy as that sounds; but we’re running short before the 2 week trek and no laundry or ability to hand wash and dry before we leave. Walden and Ella opted out, neither one liking the idea of being covered in it, and a little disturbed by the stories of abundant marijuana-infused items such as bhang lassi, not to mention the frequent inquiries made by subtle guys walking up to Chris and Walden asking if they wanted any.
So now we’ve stood in line for hours and filled out repetitive paper work for our permits, bought $4 Patagonia fleeces, and rented -15 deg sleeping bags. We’re ready for the Annapurna Circuit! We will be offline till May 31, but hope to post soon after. Stay tune and sending our love to all our family and friends at home from Nepal!