Berlin Holi Open Air Festival

Holi is an ancient festival of India and was originally known as ‘Holika’. The festival finds a detailed description in early religious works such as Jaimini’s Purvamimamsa-Sutras and Kathaka-Grhya-Sutras. Historians also believe that Holi was celebrated by all Aryans but more so in the Eastern part of India.

Days before the festival people start gathering wood for the lighting of the bonfire called Holika at the major crossroads of the city.

Then on the eve of Holi, Holika Dahan takes place. Effigy of Holika, the devil minded sister of demon King Hiranyakashyap is placed in the wood and burnt. For, Holika tried to kill Hiranyakashyap’s son Prahlad, an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of a true devotee.

Next day, is of course the main day of Holi celebrations. The day is called Dhuleti
and it is on this day that the actual play of colours take place. There is no tradition of holding puja and is meant for pure enjoyment.
The tradition of playing colours is particularly rampant in north India and even in that region, there can be no comparison to the Holi of Mathura and Vrindavan. In Maharashtra and Gujarat too Holi is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and fun.


It is being celebrated by Hindus all over the world. But now it also comes to Berlin and is open to anyone to join and enjoy! It is normally being celebrated in spring, the time when to colours come back and the flowers start blossoming. But this more European variant will happen for the 1st time in Berlin, JULY 29th. TICKETS WERE SOLD OUT WITHIN less than a day. Berlin is not the 1st one to adopt the exuberant idea, a few bands and films used it before too.

Originally Indians used herbal colours, now the cheaper chemical alternatives kick in, and as Wikipeadia states it can be very toxic. I hope Berlin does it the Berlin way – staying green.

Of course, we will not carry all the traditions to this one and will not be as spiritual as in India, but Berlin is the right place to be loyal, friendly and open to free hugs. Munich did it already, now our turn!

During this festival, people are supposed to forget about any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all. Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil! Now the joy kids have while painting you take to your adult life!

But, you have to be aware of your SLR being slightly splashed..

Jim’s advice on how to photograph during Holi. He recommends covering one’s face and arms with thick sunblock, which seemed to help in washing the dye off a little more easily. He also recommends wearing a pair of goggles to protect one’s eyes from the industrial dyes.

But what about protecting one’s photographic gear?? Jim and others suggest the OP/Tech Rain Sleeves which is a polyethylene sleeve made to protect an SLR camera with a lens from dust and inclement weather…and dye powder.

More info at: https://www.facebook.com/holiopenair

Make sure you share the poster, you have a chance to win 2 tickets!

BERLIN, make it happen!

Image taken from: http://www.theatlantic.com/

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4 comments
  1. firefly said:

    I would love to be able to join so much!!! But i’ll be in the US at that time :(
    It looks like it would be an unforgettably amazing experience!

    • they are still deciding on the date! So, who knows maybe it will be in August…

  2. firefly said:

    Reblogged this on firefly and commented:
    Holi: Festival of colors..
    Just by the name of it you feel that it would be an amazingly awesome event!

    Unfortunately I can’t go this year, but it won a spot on the ‘to do’ list of my life. Right next to the Burning man festival :D

    Many many thanks to Stephan and Jim for telling me about these festivals :)

  3. I am actually pleased to read this website posts which contains tons of valuable data, thanks for providing such statistics.

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