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7 Holi-alike festivals around the globe

Published on 24 Mar 2021

7 Holi-alike festivals around the globe

Holi, the Indian festival of colors, has numerous variants around the globe. Each of which gets celebrated with maximal vibrancy and radiancy. Some have their food fights, while some play around with doughs and grease. But in each of them, the revelers exude a fun-loving aura that becomes the essence of these famous festivals.

We will take you through 7 such rip-roaring festivities!

Clean Monday Flour War Carnival, Greece

At odds with its name, the Flour War festival convoking in Galaxadi, Greece, has little semblance with ‘clean’ and a resounding guise to the Indian festival of Holi. It marks the rebellion of the fishing village against the oppression of Ottoman rulers. And, also commemorates the start of the 40-day Lent period in early March. 

The reveling residents of Galaxadi do not shy away from pegging colored flour at each other with a jolly spirit. Any on-looker would sway by the sheer positivity and smiles echoed by the carousing citizens!

La Tomatina, Spain

Yes, the ever-famous movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara cast indulged in this very tomato-y festival of Spain. La Tomatina, a festival that puts its participants in a tomato-fight for no reason other than a zesty whoopee. 

It falls on the last Wednesday of every August in the Valencian town of Buñol and sees the swarming crowd enthusiastically playing a part in the world’s most fun tomato fight ever!

Although the festival commences earlier that week but the tomato-flinging, the much-awaited part starts from 11 am-1 pm on that day. Due to its buoyant popularity in the mainstream media, La Tomatina holds the crown as the spotlight of Spain’s Summer Festivals.

Cascamorras, Spain

A festival involving black olive oil and colored paste and tons of blackened faces fills the Spanish towns of Baza and Guadix with racing laughter and love. Cascamorras, a.k.a La Fiesta del Cascamorras, has its history rooted in a whimsical tale of rivalry between these two towns. It gets replicated every year in these towns entailing the excessive use of black in a charming and shambolic way!

The festival is declared as Fiesta de Interés Turístico Internacional (Festival of International Tourism interest) in 2006 due to its flamboyant-style celebration and compelling historical background. Cascamorras partakes in two phases. First in Baza on the 6th of every September and the other on the 9th of every September in Guadix. Each year a nominated fellow from Guadix tries to cross Baza to retrieve the festival-starter idol of Our Lady of Mercy and is met by the citizens of Baza ready to pelt them with olive oils and eggs.

Songkran, Thailand

The citizens of Thailand know how to celebrate their New Year with hype and pompous! Songkran, which occurs every year from 13 to 15 April, has an uncanny semblance to our Holi. Children dashing through the streets holding their water guns and people soaking others, especially the police with ice-cold water, is the trademark of this water festival in Thailand. 

Legend has it that Songkran had a humble beginning with people bathing from the water they washed Lord Buddha’s idol. But, eventually, it turned into a full-blown water-fight and has elevated into what we witness today. 

Battle of Oranges, Italy

Much like our festival of colors, the citizens of Ivrea Italy celebrate the festival of oranges. The biggest food fight in Italy and its neighboring country; this festival paints the town orange with actual oranges!

Legend tells tales that the Battle of Oranges is an enactment of a real-life incident involving the decapitation of an abusive duke by a headstrong woman knows as the Miller’s daughter. Following this, every year, residents of this town divide up into nine combat teams. And a girl portrays the role of this defiant young woman. The action begins with the untamed flinging of oranges for three days ensued by a solemn funeral. This fest of oranges makes a profound statement by lionizing a Battle of Liberation!

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

Mud-fest or Mud Festival started in 1999 as a promotional tactic to enlighten Koreans about the far-reaching benefits of Bueyeong’s mud. Soon it was taken over by mud-slingers as an official festival of splashing mud everywhere and on anyone!

Now, the Boryeong’s Mud Festival is not limited to the Korean citizens, and the region sees flocks of overseas tourists coming to town only to participate in this jolly festival. The citizens and travelers get down to muddy business for two weeks every July. These mud-enthusiasts spend their days sliding, wrestling, and even swimming in the mud. Even though their faces become obscure but their spirits seem alike!

Chinchilla Melon Festival, Australia 

Chinchilla, a town in Queensland, crowned as the ‘Melon Capital of Australia’ does justice to it by hosting a Melon-fest every second year in February attended by many melony-spirited peeps. This fiesta puts on an array of events and competitions, and the most popular guest in town is Melon at that time!

The Melon Dash, Melon Skiing, Melon Chariot Races, Melon Bull’s Eye, and, Melon eating races take over the city of Chinchilla with a savory flavor. And, the song ‘Watermelon Sugar High’ would be an apt interpretation of this Melong gaga.

A trip or two around the world would open your senses to the jubilant festivals celebrated by people. The sheer diversity of them would let you examine the world from a magnifying glass and you might find the much-needed peace for your well-being!


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