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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

India: The Holi Festival

Boys in Hampi at Holi
In Hampi the favourite colours for Holi are the brightest ones

As a therapy, regression often proves effective. From the simple weekend routine of playing knock-about football with your mates, to the psychologically intriguing exploits of businessmen who dress up in nappies and suck their thumbs in oversize cots while paying a mistress a small fortune to act as their mummy, reverting back to childhood is a glorious release from having to fake an adult outlook every day. Not surprisingly the Indians are fully aware of the positive energies associated with regression, but typically they manage to make it feel far less Freudian and far more fun; and to cap it all, they've set aside one day a year, Holi, that's wholly dedicated to slipping back into childhood, or at least that's how it appears from the outside. There is a religious significance, of course, but then Christmas is a religious holiday too... apparently.

Young men in Bijapur at Holi
In Bijapur, though, purple and silver appear to be the fashion
A cow with a handprint on its flank
Holi cow
Tika powder on sale in Mysore
The colours of Holi come from water mixed with tika powder
Two tika vendors in Mysore
Mysore's tika vendors