If you think the fun colour festival of Holi is celebrated only in India, well then you need to know about these celebrations around the world that are somewhat similar to Holi. They may not include colour but they include all the fun and mess that we Indians create on Holi.
1. The Tomato Battle or La Tomatina in Spain
This Spanish festival must be known by all of us as it was part of the superhit film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. This festival is celebrated in the town of Bunol. The festival is held every year on the last Wednesday of August, though the partying starts a week earlier but the fun with tomatoes begins on the last Wednesday of August.
2. The Orange Battle in Italy
This festival is celebrated in February every year, in the Northern Italian city of Ivrea which is a beautiful lake town. Here people celebrate by throwing oranges at each other making this the largest food fight in Italy. This festival has its roots dating back to 12th century with an interesting story around it. The attitude goes that a cruel ruler was punished for his misdeeds, and this day is celebrated in remembrance of the victory of the common man.
3. Chinchilla Watermelon Festival in Australia
The town of Chinchilla is in Queensland region, it is also known as the ‘Melon Capital of Australia’’. Every second year in February this festival takes place, where events like Melon Chariot, Melon Bungee, Melon Bullseye, Melon eating challenge takes place, but the most talked about event is the Melon Head Smashing event, where one has to burst open as many melons with their heads as possible. So, if you want to check your head’s strength do check out this festival.
4. Mud Festival in South Korea
This festival in some sense can be compared to Holi but instead of colours the Koreans use mud. The town of Boryeong holds this annual festival in summer times. This festival started in 1998 and by 2007, it gained quite a popularity. It had become a tourist attraction in recent times as people came to this festival for mud baths, mud massages, and many more mud related activities. The mud of this town’s beaches are rich in minerals that are used in making cosmetics, so this also one of the main reasons for its popularity.
5. Songkran Festival in Thailand
Songkran festival marks the New Year in Thailand, it is celebrated from 13 to 15 April every year. This festival can be said as the cousin festival of Holi. Because in this festival the Thai people throw water on each other, kids use water guns but the difference is that in Thailand they don’t use colours like we use in India. Only plane water or sometimes cold water is used in the Songkran festival.
6. Clean Monday Flour War Carnival in Greece
This festival is usually celebrated in early March in the town of Galaxidi. This day marks the beginning of 40-day Lent period and this festival has been celebrated for more than 200 years. In India we play Holi with gulaal, but the Greeks have taken this a step further and they use flour or coloured flour to celebrate this Flour War Carnival. People throw fistful of this coloured flour at each other and celebrate this day.
7. Haro Wine festival
This is again a Spanish festival and is celebrated on Saint Peters Day during summer times. As you have read the name, this festival includes wine. And is celebrated in the town of Haro in Northern Spain. But here they don’t simply drink wine, the people here throw wine at each other until everyone is soaked in wine from head to toe. This may sound like an event we would love to attend but keep in mind that this festival takes place in summer season, so all that wine may sound good but it will make you sticky and messy as well.
All the above festivals can be said to have the spirit of Holi at its crux, but are somewhat messier than Holi. So, this Holi enjoy all that coloured water, water balloons and gulaal with your family. And don’t miss out on all the Gujiya and other sweets because festivals are all about food and love.