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Holi, the color festival of Barcelona

Looking for a battle of color in Barcelona, don’t miss the holi mela !!! A war where you will get out totally colored on your face, on your clothes, everywhere... because no one can’t escape to the colored powders that your friends and everyone will throw on you from all directions.

The holi is the famous hindu color celebration that announces the spring. It occurs normally the last full moon of phalguna, the lunar month based on the hindu calendar. For us, it is between the end of february and march. And mela means gathering or fair.

This festival of color has its origin in a legend based on

the great king and the evil woman. Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled the world, a good king who knew how to protect his people and gave them prosperity and happiness. One day, parents discovered that their kids were afraid of a woman because she forbade them to play and to be happy.

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To find a solution, they went to see the king for advices who ordered that after the last full moon before the spring, everyone had to do bonfires and that children had to play, dance and sing around them in order to frighten her.

Since then, each year, people are celebrating this festival not only to welcome the spring but also for the good weather and to chase away the bad spirits. Although the holi mela is a religious festival in India, in different cities, it may differ a little.

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For instance, in Bangladesh, one of the sacred cities of the hinduism and situated near to Ganges, the sacred river, it lasts 3 days. The first day is dedicated to the prayers for the fire then a brahman, a hindu priest, sprinkles some phalgu powders of red color on the face of the goddess Krishna and later, on the people.

For the rest of the day, a big public bonfire is lighted and some priests will bring Holika, the evil woman, to burn her. This procession is accompanied with musicians and singers. Holika is made of bamboo and straw but before to burn her, the main priest has to walk in circle around the fire 7 times. After the incineration, people have to stay in their house until the next day and normally, the traditional rice pudding and with sugar are cooked for dinner.

For the next 2 days, Krishna is cradled every dawn and dusk by rocking it meanwhile, families, who are coming to the city to celebrate this color tradition, throw phalgus and colored water. Phalgu or Abira is the colored powder that is threw during this festival, traditionally, they are red, made of dry roots of curcuma zedoaria and orange, made of turmeric tuber.

In Barcelona, it is also celebrated for the spring including in 2 other occasions. All of them include the war of colors and normally, it may have bollywood shows, lavni dances, music… so if you are in the city during this period, come to fight without to be afraid to laugh a lot and to be painted from the head to the feet.

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For the holi mela festival that occurs in march, you have to go the park of 3 chimneys and to know the time, check this website. For the 2 others, one is in april, it is called the holi indian festival at the rambla del carmel, for that check this website and for the last one, the Barcelona holi one color festival in july, for this one, check this website.

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