Holi celebration in Varanasi

#1 Mar 6th, 2011, 22:10
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#1
Have heard that Holi is celebrated on 19th March in Varanasi.
Is this correct?
Is it safe to participate, can wife be brought along or will she possibly be harassed.
Were is the best place to attend and what is the duration.
#2 Mar 6th, 2011, 23:29
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Holi can be a somewhat crazy time in Varanasi. It might be best to talk with the owners of your guesthouse to get the best firsthand local information. My Holi's in Varanasi - I have two - have been spent in the Asi area, south end of the city. As the colored dyes are sold prior to the actual day, you might get dusted beforehand. I would be careful for your camera (for the water-based dyes) and possibly your wife, as there are many inebriated/drug-fueled men on the street, and it COULD be a problem.
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#3 Aug 22nd, 2011, 04:44
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My first Holi experience was in Varanasi a couple of years ago. I was warned repeatedly by the fellow who arranged my transportation that I must stay in the hotel or risk grave danger. The hotel had a large placard in the lobby stating that guests should not leave the hotel until after 2 pm on the day of Holi. All this made the whole thing just that much more inticing for me!

I left the hotel lobby in the worst clothes I had with me. The hotel had closed and locked the gates to it's entrance and posted a guard who told me that I must not go out. Outside the hotel was a side street lined with apartment blocks. About three dozen teenage boys were throwing colors at full tilt to blasting Bollywood music. They called "come play" and out I went over the desperate warnings of the guard. I can still remember him crying, "But sir ... But sir!" as I entered the fray.

It was a blast. The boys threw buckets of colored water on me then loaned me buckets to throw on them. After about 45 minutes of fun, I went back to the guard to retrieve my camera. As I stepped back into the street, here came my playmates. I asked them please not to throw any more colors on me as I had my camera and they didn't - not a drop.

So if you'd like to "play Holi", I suggest that you find a residential area were young kids are playing as opposed to a public area with drunken adult males. Where I was, I noticed a few moms watching from doorways and rooftops. And a couple of dads came out to watch when I started playing.

I did not observe any women or girls playing outside. I've been told that the girls often play in interior courtyards or on rooftops. I do believe that it could be a dangerous scene if a woman attempted to play with adult hooligans.

I'll be back in Varanasi March 2012 for Holi. Happy, Happy Holi!!
#4 Aug 22nd, 2011, 05:17
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For women it can be a different experience unlike any Bollywood image. There was a report posted here sometime back describing their unfortunate experience in Varanasi.Remember, this is a time for excess in an anthropological sense and some handle that better than others. If you have family or local contacts that would help although I would hate to be the cause of a potentially dangerous fight. Odd memory from Delhi, one of the few random senseless attacks on someone I observed in India was during Holi..
Last edited by edwardseco; Aug 22nd, 2011 at 10:07.. Reason: lousy grammar
#5 Aug 22nd, 2011, 06:26
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#5
Cannot talk about Holi in Varanasi but stayed last 1st March 2010 during Holi in Bundi and the ambiance was great, no problems at all and absolutely no harassment for the women. My main problem was the camera because coloured powder seemed to be fine but with water I didn't really know.

Have a look at some pictures taken this day:
http://jreverter.smugmug.com/Other/India-2010-Holi/

Jorge
#6 Aug 26th, 2011, 14:58
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I guess user Kimolof is long gone ...I was in Jaipur for Holi 2011 and loved it. I do have a few worries for next year though (and there's no way I'm staying inside and missing out, how daft is that!) My concern is with which ever guest house I'll be staying at...they certainly won't be pleased with someone returning soaked & covered in dye. Then there's the paint (oil paint based mixture) the older boys were using - it's murder to get off...you can smell it as they're approaching too
#7 Aug 26th, 2011, 22:05
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The last Holi that I was part of in Varanasi, the owner/manager of my guest house was at least as green and red and orange and blue as anyone of his guests . . . and, he was an instigator , maybe the biggest of us all
#8 Feb 24th, 2012, 17:05
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Hey! We are a group of students from Geramny planning to shoot a documentary about holi in varanasi. what can you tell me about the celebration? are there many people? is it dangerous for the cameras? how would you descrobe the atmosphere?
thanks a lot!
#9 Feb 24th, 2012, 17:29
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Proper protective gears to cover camera to protect from liquid (colored water) & dust (colored powders) would be highly appreciated!
#10 Feb 24th, 2012, 23:12
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Come on Majo, let play it in Berlin. I will pose in all possible Bollywood holi songs.
#11 Feb 26th, 2012, 19:52
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimolof View Post Have heard that Holi is celebrated on 19th March in Varanasi.
Is this correct?
Is it safe to participate, can wife be brought along or will she possibly be harassed.
Were is the best place to attend and what is the duration.
Hii... holi at 8th March.. not 19th march... i am also waiting....................... ..... Enjoy colour festival.... best wishes for your journey...


and ya its safe... but you are new with colour so use goggles to be more safe.... enjoy

welcome in varanasi... happy journey
#12 Mar 5th, 2012, 19:39
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimolof View Post Have heard that Holi is celebrated on 19th March in Varanasi.
Is this correct?
Is it safe to participate, can wife be brought along or will she possibly be harassed.
Were is the best place to attend and what is the duration.
Hi Kimolof,

Holi used to be beautiful festival but has now turned in to a day of nuisance and uncivilized behaviour, when hooligans/rowdies get a licence to misbehave with anybody in the name of festival.
I would not recommend overseas visitors (a big NO in case of females) to venture out on Holi. If you are with local hosts or in a large group then it is a diffirent case.

I went to Paharganj last year to take pictures of tourists celebrating Holi. It was disgusting to see the way some local boys (not all) were behaving with the girls, taking advantage of the festival fervor. Though there was ample police presence to stop such incidences, they could not go everywhere all the time.
#13 Mar 5th, 2012, 19:48
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#13
Holi festival in Varanasi has already started yesterday being Ekadasi (Eleventh day of Phalgun maas Shukla Paksha as per Hindu Calendar)!

Even today, you may find well mannered people on the banks of Ganges, I believe!
#14 Mar 5th, 2012, 20:57
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post Holi festival in Varanasi has already started yesterday being Ekadasi (Eleventh day of Phalgun maas Shukla Paksha as per Hindu Calendar)!

Even today, you may find well mannered people on the banks of Ganges, I believe!
Hi Prakaant,

Finding well-behaved people on a Holi day is as rare as the Tiger sighting these days. Sad to say but it's true.

Anyways, Happy Holi to You and Your Family!
#15 Mar 6th, 2012, 12:49
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#15
be careful what areas you go to-i was in Calcutta one year and a muslim guy had battery acid sprayed down his back!!!

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