March 13, 2017: Holi is one of the main festivals of India. But you’ll be surprised to know that Holi is not just celebrated in India, but also in foreign countries. However, the time and tradition in which foreigners celebrate Holi very different from India.
While one country plays Holi with tomatoes, the other plays it with just water. In some countries, Holi is celebrated by lighting fire at the roundabout on roads. Although the names their Holi-like festivals are different, but they are played just like Indians play Holi.
Not many people know about this but people in Italy celebrate Holi alike festival with a twist. They celebrate it with Oranges.
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The Battle of Oranges is a festival celebrated in the Northern Italian city of Ivrea where people in organized groups throw Oranges at each other. It is the largest food fight in Italy.
People of Normandy in France, burn the idols made of hay on this day. Before burning it, they keep abusing the idols and shout in front of it. They throw colours on it and on each other as well.
During Easter, people cut trees and bury them. Around this they keep sack of grass and burn it. On this day, they even put colour on each other and celebrate.
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Remember the amazing sequence where all the stars of the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara indulged in the festivity of Tomato while they were in Spain? Yes, it was the way Spain plays Holi.
La Tomatina is a food festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year where thousands and thousands of people gather from all around the world and participate in the ‘Worlds Biggest Food Fight.’
The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual mud festival which takes place during the summer in Boreyong, a town in South Korea. The first mud festival started in 1998.
Mud festival attracts millions from around the globe that take place for two weeks where sports like mud wrestling, mud king, mud pool and mud skiing are organized.
These are the few examples where people celebrate our festival but with some twists. We can say it just on the basis of seniority. After all, our tradition of celebrating is the oldest and they followed our path or maybe got inspired from us.
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But there is a saying in Hindi, “Aloo aur Indians, duniya ke har kone mein mil jaaenge,” and we live it to this saying. We are scattered all around the globe spreading our traditions culture. So other than India, few countries which celebrate Indian festivity at massive level are-
United States of America
A sizeable population of Indians can be found in the USA, which tells us the reason why the festival is observed with such gaiety there. In USA, religious organizations and societies take the responsibility of organizing the festival. Musical programs and meets are conducted to fill the air with the spirit of India. New York is completely dabbled by the colorful waters. Holi is marked by parades and attended by Indians, rejoicing, playing with colors in the midst.
In UK, the revelry of Holi is seen profoundly at places with a large congregation of Indians. The British city of Leicester is particularly known for its love for celebrating Indian festivals. The enthusiasm reaches its peak on the occasion of Holi. The joyous festival is marked with social gatherings and exchange of sweets. People enjoy the day by smearing colors on each other and playing with water, just as it is done back home, in India.
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The Indians settled in South Africa have made it a point to keep the tradition of celebrating Holi alive in South Africa, the southernmost country of the continent of Africa. The Indians in South Africa play with colors, on the occasion of Holi. They sing songs, which is one of the prominent parts of the celebrations. People exchange gifts and greet each other and the evenings are spent in meeting friends and acquaintance.
After getting through all of the above, we can easily comprehend that our HOLI is not just limited to the subcontinent region, it is travelling and settling into the hearts of people all around the world; just like us.
Happy Global Holi India!
-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard