How long do the colors stay on?
On the 1st color day (first day of Holi), they just use powders, or powdered color slightly mixed with water into a paste, I guess. So from that day, the colors can wash off somewhat easily. But on the 5th day (the 2nd day of coloring, it seems), called Rang Pancham [Color Five], they use more seriously water-based colors -- which has the effect, I found, of giving a longer-lasting stain. Some mild traces linger on faces for a couple days, as I recall...But in general (from my limited exposure to the phenom), people will tend to bathe and wash off the colors somewhat promptly; i.e., it's not a case of being obliged to say painted.I believe (though I'm a bit vague on this) the cultural origin of this color-your-friends custom lies in stories of the pranks of teenaager Krishna, who would like to make a nuisance of himself.In Hindu lore, Krishna is rare among spiritual figures for having attained God-Realization at a very early age -- i.e. as a child or maybe even infant. (This is perhaps not found in any other such figure.) As a consequence, he passed through adolescence with a very different perspective . . .cheers,d.i.
small spelling correction --the 5th day of Holi is called Rang Panchami.
Welcome back! Thanks for telling me about your new site - will add a link to it. Great photos here! I took a six week haitus from blogging, but am back writing a few more stories. I also set up a one-time photoblog thing recently with my so-called "street photography" made during a trip to Barcelona (vivalabarca.blogspot.com).
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