The Original Holi Festival
Holi is an ancient Indian festival that has existed for centuries. The meaning of the festival has changed over the years and is celebrated in the name of various gods, however many of the rituals or traditions have remained the same, and the one that seems the most fun, is the spraying of coloured water all over the place. You can find out more about the traditional festival here at this site: Holi Festival. Holi marks the end of winter, and start of spring, its a chance to celebrate and have fun.
Holi-one festival is based on the Holi festival in India. It always starts at two p.m. when thousands of people get together to listen to music and throw coloured dye at each other every hour. The coloured powder you could buy at the festival, and you were given big packages of it in various solid colours: blue, pink, orange, green, yellow. It was apparently environmentally friendly and non-toxic. However, it didn’t taste too great and by the end of the day my throat was pretty dry. This was the first year it’s ever been in Cape Town, and if you’d like to see what it was like, check out this video: Holi-One Cape Town. It was held in the middle of down town, at the Grand Promenade. We got there shortly after two and the place was already covered in powder, there were a couple of food tents, and some places selling masks for your mouth, bandanas, powder-free areas. The rest of the area was fair game for throwing powder around. (Though in all honesty there was a lot of powder tossing and smearing in the powderless tents regardless) Suggestions, if you ever want to go to a Holi-one festival, don’t leave home without at least one pair of sunglasses, a white shirt, and a bandana. Also, bring yourself some water to wash down all that delicious corn-starchy powder. Beer cost about R20 a can and looking back its kind of funny how expensive that seemed. I mean, when has anyone ever gotten a beer at a concert in Canada for under $3.00?
Hout Bay & Chapman’s Peak
Hout Bay is one of my favorite places in Cape Town. I can’t exactly explain why, it smells like fish and its full of old boats, and sailors. The beach there doesn’t get great waves really ever, and its not the easiest part of the peninsula to get too, but I can’t help but feel pretty enchanted by it.
Rachael and I went down there to check it out and just walk around. The weather hasn’t been great in Cape Town, so it seemed like a good day for exploring since hiking, and climbing would have been pretty gross with all the wind and rain. Winter is coming to Cape Town unfortunately, and it seems to be hitting earlier than anyone really expected it to. We walked around the docks and watched some workers cut up bits of fish to feed a hungry seal. They had a can and were asking for coins, and were letting people feed the seal. If you put the fish in your teeth and waited it would even kiss you ( I didn’t try that). It reminded me a lot of the fisherman feeding the massive sting rays in Cape Agulhas. There was blood all over the dock next to them, and the whole area smelled like fish as tourists sort of goggled in packs taking pictures and holding toddlers with ice cream in their hands ( I had my camera out, so I really was no better). The stingrays slid under and out around the boats, unbothered by the commotion around them. One of my roommates even went in and pet one.
We walked through the boats, and I took hundreds of photos–some you’ll probably see posted throughout the next couple of weeks. I’m in love with the old boats, and the smell- salty and sharp and fishy.