In India, Holi announces the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. The festival breathes an atmosphere of social merriment. People bury their hatchets with a warm embrace and throw their worries to the wind. Every nook and corner presents a colorful sight. Young and old alike are covered with colors (red, green, yellow, blue, black and silver). People in small groups are seen singing, dancing and throwing colors on each other.

I have seen the pictures, and we have driven by the Krishna temple in Spanish Fork, but we have never been able to go before. This year, I told Ryan that we were going. He uttered something of a groan. Ryan doesn’t always catch the enthusiasm with which I like to live my life. But that’s ok, he has other strengths. And he was willing to go along with it. The kids had seen pictures, but none of us really knew what to expect.

We drove to Spanish Fork and parked our car at the Fairgrounds. I had read that the shuttle bus was the way to go, so we paid for our shuttle tickets and entrance and got on the bus in our white t-shirts.

The bus dropped us off a ways from the site, but it wasn’t a long walk. On the way people were selling water, white bandanas, and face masks, all for $1 each. Everybody’s got to make a buck. WE noticed so many parking lots in farmers fields. At $5 a car, I’m sure they make a nice haul for these two days of the Festival.

We got there right before 11:00 and thought we wouldn’t make it onto the hill in time for the 11:00 throwing, so we stood back a bit to get some pictures.

White, right?
Not for long.
When they throw, it’s like little puffs of color all over.

Of course, my friend, Erin, who is a photographer with a good camera, gets a shot more like this. I’m not sure if hers was later in the afternoon, or what the conditions are, but I love the vibrant colors in that shot!

We made out way up to the temple. As we would pass people, little by little we started getting more and more color on us. People just put some of the chalk in their hand and toss it as you as you walk by, or they even smear it on your face or shirt. Someone threw some color right in Ryan’s face, and it took him a bit to blink it out and get so he could see again. No personal space, really.

And if you play with the color settings on the camera, whether intentionally or as you are stuffing the camera in your pocket, you get some funky pictures.

We didn’t purchase the little bags of colors, because the line was long and we are cheap.
Besides, we thought there would be plenty of people throwing their color.
We were right.

When we got into the crowd on the hill, there was music, dancing, singing. We even held hands and did some jumping. We are all different, but equal, they said. While it may seem a bit weird to some of us, it wasn’t way out there. There was nothing said that was offensive or takes away from my own beliefs.

Finally it was time for the big throw. They counted down and then everyone threw their colors. Cleansing, welcoming of spring.

I didn’t try to take pictures while we were in the cloud. It went dark for a few seconds because of all the chalk in the air. After about 30 seconds, it was a pinkish haze.

Instead of vibrant colors, all the colors got a bit muted from the thrown colors.

As we walked out and back to the bus stop, there was a stream of colored people walking out, and a stream of white people coming in.

I should have remembered the garbage bags to sit on in the car. I also should have remembered the baby wipes.

Oh, well. Maybe I’ll remember those next time.

It’s Tuesday now and one of the kids at school asked me if I had green in my hair. Do I still have green in my hair? Natalie has pink and orange in her hair, close to her scalp. Lasting benefits, I guess.

It was a fun activity for a Saturday. I’m so glad we were able to go.