Holi Festival In Manila

Isn’t fascinating to explore different cultures? Learn our differences and similarities? In order to learn such culture, you have to interact with different people and travel from one place to another. From here, you’ll discover all their usual traditions, rituals and even those colorful festivities they celebrate. Few weeks ago, i was grateful to experience Holi Festival, a Hindu religious festival that is being celebrated annually  in countries like India and Nepal. Of course, I didn’t traveled that far just to celebrate such interesting colorful festivity.
20170312_175345tThis colorful festival has become popular even in Non-Hindus in different part of the world and here in Manila, this color festival has been celebrated since 2013. This year marked its fifth year which offered grander and much more colorful celebration for everyone.
20170312_155141tWhat is Holi Festival?
Holi is known as the festival of colors which marks as the arrival of spring, the season of hope and joy. It is being celebrated in India in the month of Phalgun (March).On top of that, the celebration is also being done to signify the victory of good over evil.It is also being celebrated for fun, play, laugh, forget, forgive and also to repair broken relationships.20170312_164236tOne distinctive feature of this so-called biggest color festival in India is the use of colored powders known as “Gulal”. The throwing of colorful powders is part of the rituals in Holi Festival which symbolizes friendship, unity, and a sense of revelry. The activity is often accompanied by music and dance.20170312_164601tIt was a very festive celebration indeed. This year’s Holi Festival in Manila was held in SM B y the Bay (just beside the Vikings).  The event officially started around 3pm. We were warmly welcomed by the organizers and they even spread those colorful powders on our face by the time we arrived in the venue. Each attendee is entitled for a free bag of gulal power. We can only choose one color so my friends and I picked different ones. The event was supposed to end at 7pm and within such time,  three count downs were held (throwing of powder). The first one at 3:30, the second at 4:15 and the last one at 5:30.20170312_165124tThis is an Indian festival so expect to deal with a huge Indian community in this event. Interestingly, the event is not just about the throwing of gulal powder, singing and dancing. There’s actually many activities that you can participate for free.

20170312_170723tHenna Tattoo
The activities were all related to India. One of them is the free application of Henna Tattoo. Henna Tattoo is actually an ancient body art originated in India. The tattoo has been used for centuries to create beautiful temporary designs on the body.Henna Tattoo or Mehndi, as what the term suggests used the powdered dry leaves of Henna plant. 20170312_171015t20170312_171219tDon’t worry, this is just a temporary tattoo which could only last for a wekk. In addition to that, the ingredients used for the Henna are all natural so you know it is safe to be applied on your skin.
Aside from the free tattoo, another interesting booth in this event is the Rangoli, another notable art originated from India. Rangoli is a folk art practiced throughout India. Designs are often drawn on the ground usually in chalk or colored powder and embellished in sand, rice, candles, or flower petals.In the event, the participant will be asked for their preferred pattern. They will be given with the uncolored pattern, a set of colored sand and a glue. Interestingly, Rangoli is also an expression of the creative self, often viewed as the form of self-portraiture. Designs of Rangoli are often based from nature.

20170312_172049tPhoto Booth
Although not culturally relevant, another interesting activity during the Holi Festival is their free photo booth session. Each group is entitled for four different shots and they can utilize all the props available. The photo can be claimed afterwards in the event’s official web page.

20170312_172319tThe Countdowns and Main Stage events
We actually missed the first two countdowns so before the last count down starts, we decided to hit the main stage and wait for the much awaited throwing of Gulal. It was really an entertaining event and one thing I realized about the Indian community, they are seemingly naturally happy people. You can see nothing but their wonderful smile and graceful movements. You can really tell how much they enjoy this event in a full extent. 20170312_172948t20170312_175017tThere goes the last countdown.20170312_175047t20170312_175208t
20170312_175220t20170312_180559tIMG_0254tIMG_0271tIMG_0278tSam YG and Joyce Pring hosted the event
IMG_0292tIMG_0433tIMG_0441tIMG_0300tIMG_0297tIMG_0339tIMG_0358tIMG_0405tIMG_0423tIMG_0450tIMG_0459tAfter that tiring yet super entertaining dance and music, we ended our day by indulging with Indian Cuisine!

Indian Cuisine
20170312_181513tThe Indian Cuisine is known for their wide range of spices.  Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions. They also serve foods that are specially catered every Holi Festival and of course, celebrating such festival will not be completed without trying their specialties. 20170312_181600t20170312_181620tChicken Tikka20170312_181634tAloo Tikki Chollay20170312_182825t20170312_183502tIdli20170312_183831tMasala Dosa20170312_183837t20170312_183602tThandai

It was truly an entertaining festival and I wouldn’t mind attending the same event next year. But on top of all the fun, what really matters most is the essence of this celebration. It will not be considered as one of the most important festivals in India for no reason. To many Hindus, Holi festivities mark the beginning of the new year as well as an occasion to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and rid themselves of accumulated emotional impurities from the past.

Feel free to watch my Holi Festival 2017 Video coverage below

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