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Travel Photo: Berlin’s Holi Festival of Colours

Berlin Holi Festival of Colour

Yesterday was the Berlin Holi Festival of Colours and I managed to snag a free pair of tickets from an online contest. Probably Berlin’s most colorful party, it’s a party organized by some promoters in Berlin. Holi is a Hindu religious festival typically celebrated on the full moon in February or March to commemorate the spring season.

The promoters behind this party (and there are several other Holi festivals throughout the spring and summer in Berlin), have essentially taken the themes (and colors) from the traditional Holi festival to make a party. You buy small bags of dry paint (2€ per color, or 10€ for 5) which you then essentially paint the world with. Take a handful of dry paint, throw it up in the air and let it color you and the people dancing near you. Lots of fun.

Yesterday’s open-air party featured international DJs and all the trappings of a typical music festival: festival foods, portable toilets, strict restrictions on what you can and can’t bring inside… Naturally: I loved it. The party lasted from the early afternoon until 10pm, which is a long time (and probably more than you need). If you plan to go to a future Holi Festival of Colour open-air, I’ve got some recommendations:

  • Wear white — makes for “painting” more fun
  • Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes (also maybe a hat)
  • Wear a handkerchief or bandana around your mouth. They sell face masks (like the ones you see at hospitals) and bandanas if they colored dust gets to be too much
  • All the signs said “no cameras” but I managed to sneak in with mine
  • There’s a countdown every hour (on the hour) when everyone throws up their colours in the air. Lots of fun. Here’s my video of the countdown colour extravaganza:

Berlin Holi Festival tickets start from 16.99€ and prices on the inside are typical of other music festivals (approx 3€ for small, cheap beers or water; 4-5€ for food). They’re held in cities all over Europe, so be sure to check their website for an upcoming festival near you.

  1. Beth says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! I hope to visit a Holi celebration somewhere in the world someday!

    • Adam says:

      At the rate they’re having them here in Berlin (every few weeks), it shouldn’t be too difficult, Beth!!

  2. Federico says:

    I won tickets too and then didn’t come ’cause the idea of being in a place packed with people with yesterday’s temperatures was just too discouraging. Anyway, I think I know that guy on your right coloured like a Smurf trying not to suffocate :D

    • Adam says:

      Okay then Federico… Sorry you didn’t go. It was enjoyable for a little while but yeah…this weekend was H-O-T.

  3. Christoffer Moen says:

    Looks like a blast!

  4. Lovejeet says:

    Glad to know that people are celebrating holy in Berlin , Seems you’ve enjoyed a lot .

    • Adam says:

      Well, it wasn’t so much a celebration of Holi as just a celebration. Still fun though!

  5. patty says:

    They have races in the states like this called Color in Motion. I hear they are great fun. Your picture captures the colors nicelyt!

    Here’s info on how they did it in Indianapolis, Indiana:

  6. Looks like such a fun festival! I am just a bit obsessed with Berlin and cannot wait to go back. Hopefully I can time my trip to attend this festival. Stopping by from Travel Photo Mondays :)

  7. noel says:

    what crazy fun with powdered colors, looks intense, would be fun for photography

  8. Anwesha says:

    Came across your blog while looking up Testaccio for an upcoming trip and then stumbled across this post.

    Even though I have been to Berlin thrice, I had never heard of this festival. Looks great. As an Indian and (albeit non-practicing) Hindu, Holi is an absolute favorite of mine. You should see it in North India sometime.

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Anwesha – It’s a pretty cool party/festival here in Berlin, but I suspect pretty different from the Holi festival one might see in India. India was one of the more interesting/important/profound places I visited on my round-the-world trip and hope to make it back there!

      Also – Testaccio is great :) If you go, I highly recommend a food tour with!

  9. Marcia says:

    I’ve never heard of this festival. Looks like a lot of fun!

  10. flipnomad says:

    Looks fun! Too bad I missed this festival when I was in India.

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