Holi in Old Dhaka

A lovely aspect of the Holi festival, is that gender, age, status, caste and nationality do not apply – it’s a free for all. If ever a rickshaw wallah wants to shoot a white lady with a super-soaker filled with dye, today is the day.

On any other day, this would be a grave no-no.

Nothing to see here.  Move along.
Nothing to see here. Move along.

Holi marks the end of Winter, and the beginning of Spring. It also celebrates the death of a woman, Holika. Well, of course it does.   All great festivals include a good old witch burning!

The frolic in Old Dhaka, where the vestiges of the Hindu Population of Dhaka are concentrated, is loud, wet, dirty, crowded, messy and wonderful.

Much of the crowd was teenagers, and even some women enjoying the fun! Hooray!

Coloured powder. Some powders strongly scented with rose. Coloured water in super-soakers and old coke bottles. Buckets of water tipped from apartment buildings. General mayhem.

The taste of ink.

The crush of people.

Narrow alleys packed with coloured, wet, smiling people, with high speaker stacks covered in plastic in the middle of the alleys every twenty metres. Hindi pop at loud volume.

Men rocking the Lungi Dance.

What is the Lungi Dance, I hear you ask ….

And then the clean up.

While most of the colours came off fairly easily, there was a delightful hot pink stain from my forehead to under my chin, which required vigorous scrubbing with vodka. I fear that I will be carrying this pink for several more days.

Crap. Straight in my eyes. Again.
Crap. Straight in my eyes. Again.