Celebrating Holi, The Festival Of Light, Auckland NZ
Auckland is a multi-cultural city with a very diverse population.
We were so fortunate that we were able to participate in two major cultural celebrations during the same weekend, the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival, and the Indian Holi Festival Of Light.
We chose to walk from our hotel to Three Kings Park in Mount Roskill, to attend the Holi Festival, a round trip distance of about 20 km.
We started the day with a great brunch at Simon and Lee restaurant on a side street in Parnell, and it took nearly three hours to walk to the park in Mount Roskill.
We were worried that the Holi festivities would be over by the time we arrived.
But we did not need to worry.
The music was pumping, the food stalls were serving good home cooked Indian food, and the people were throwing colorful chalk all over each other.
It was great fun!!!
The people were so warm, and they smeared our faces with color and invited us to dance.
Old grannies danced alongside young couples, as did moms with toddlers and smiling old men dressed in white kurtas.
I wore clothes that I did not mind to get color on, but Jules had originally hoped to observe from the sidelines and not get all smeared.
Well, it didn’t happen like he wanted it to, but the smiles and happiness were truly infectious.
Even now, when I look at the photos we took, I can’t help but smile.
We ordered home made pistachio Kulfi ice ream and a Masala Dosa and ate it sitting on the grass among the warm and wonderful people.
Walking back from Mount Roskill to Parnell, we made quite a spectacle.
Indian people we passed by or who drove by us, wished us a happy Holi, while Kiwi kids who do not know about Holi, asked us where can they get all colored up like us.
Their mother seemed relieved when we told them that it was probably all over for the day.
Along the way, we passed by a restaurant that I had wanted to try to dine at in the past called “Sen”, but being covered in colorful chalk, I did not think they would be thrilled to seat us.
That night when we arrived at our apartment, we washed all our clothes, hats and even our day bags.
Everything cleaned up very well.
Before we drifted off to sleep, I saw bright multicolor patches of light in my mind’s eye.
I thought of the lines that I had read from my book.
“You are NOT a heavy, conditional body but a FREE BEING, made entirely of multicolored light particles.
These light particles go in and out of your heart centre in continuous cycles, intermittently merging INTO the Infinite and emerging out FROM the infinite.
You truly are an all pervading light.”
Happy Holi to all of you!
May your light shine from your heart center into everything and everyone you encounter.
With light-filled blessings,