Thursday, 12 March 2009
Religious festivals have never really rocked my boat. When i was wee, i got made to sit in various school halls for hours on end while some windbag spraffed on about Jesus and his chums. My favourite quote bout xmas from Everything But The Girl ("It's cold and there's nothing to do...") changed slightly last year when the Phoenix opened its doors to the public on the anniversary of the death of James Brown. But it was still a bit pish if i'm totally honest.
However, Holi is a whole different kettle o coconuts. Certainly in Goa, there seems to be no properly religious aspect to proceedings in the few days up to and including the first (only?) full moon in March. It's mos def a Hindu thing but, as it's been explained to me, it's really just an excuse to take a break from the old routine, visit friends and family, eat a bit too much home cooking and even bevvy a bit if that's yer bag.
And on the day and night of full moon itself, all hell breaks loose as awkuntz encouraged to disrespect authority, caper around and chuck paint on each other. Folk of all and no religion here go mental for it and after dark, troops of drummers make their way from house to house bangin out barry rhythms. I saw some amazin dancing like Morris dancers on PCP - young, fit and sweaty gadgies wheechin in and out with ropes suspended from a central wooden beam.
That stuff goes on til dawn when a big fire's sparked up on the beach and those left standin run through the embers and into the sea. I'm no suggesting boxing day bonfires down the Shore but there must be a guid few lessons we can take from Holi. First and most important lesson for me would be to have a bit o fun and invite yer neebs to join in. Oops....that wis 2. Oh well.