Everything that happens when you go to Holi for the first time

You’re going to have to take a long shower

Picture this: Color. Floating in the air, splattered around the ground, spread on skin. Laughter echoes, cool water hits you, and random strangers who you have never really talked to are throwing color at you, trying to fill your t-shirts with as much color as they can. But so many things happen when you go to Holi for the first time!

You get color in your mouth

Just finished Round 2 of Holi!

You’re so incredibly happy with the whole scene. The color. The people. The laughs. And you forget to close your mouth. It sounds stupid, but it’s true. We gape in awe at something amazing. But for me, I gaped, I tasted the color, and I walked around with my teeth temporarily dyed pink.

You get wet

Running for the waterslide to cool off.

Holi is not just a dry festival. You got to balance it out with wetness. And what better way to add to the fun than to run around with squirt guns filled with cold water? Not only is it refreshing, but it helps to remove color in those bizarre places you got hit.

You get to learn and experience a different culture

I had heard about Holi before and knew that you threw color everywhere. But, it’s actually so much more than that. It’s a festival to celebrate the battle between good and evil. Traditionally, the color is set up in big bowls and scattered around for people to grab color. Although Emory this year took the color to a different level and managed to really get everyone covered in all colors, a lot of Holi celebrations in India take it to the extreme.

You bond with friends

Just a bit of friendly competition.

Friends seem to take competitions to another level (or at least mine do). No one is safe on the battle field and everyone is making comments about how they are going to shove color in their face, push them in the water, or all attack one person as a group. It’s a color battle field out there. Not kidding.

You learn that sunglasses are the best and worst invention for Holi

Rylee rocks the sunglasses with no problems.

On the bright side, you get eye protection from the color and you don’t have to worry about closing your eyes at the right second when the color comes flying at you. On the downside, as soon as you get hit in the face, the sunglasses are filled with color and you can’t even see anymore. And being blind in a color war isn’t the best way to go. So, whether you wear them or you don’t, they can be both your best and worst friend.

You can get so many cute Instagram pictures

Anushka being cute and colorful.

Just think: friends decked out in color, surrounded by color. What is a cooler pic than that?

You take probably one of the longest showers in all your experience at Emory

I stood in the shower for what felt like half an hour trying to get it all off. Off of my eyelids, in my ears, up my nose (for real though, it’s a struggle), and in your mouth. And then the spots that you just don’t know… It’s actually really funny to even watch the water turn different colors as you wash off parts of where you got hit.

You get to experience how hard it is to pick up what feels practically like baby powder

The powder is so light that it blows so nicely, especially for good pictures.

It feels impossible. You reach into the bag, thinking you’re only picking up air, but really you are picking up a handful of color. The amount of times I was thinking I didn’t have any, but I actually had a lot overflowing from my hand is too many to count.

You get to see what it looks like to be ruthless

About to have a water gun takedown.

“Every man for themselves” stays true at Holi. People would pick up others and throw them in the water. Others would dump the entire box of color on another friend’s head. And then, some minor ruthlessness took its form in sneak attacks from behind. No where on McDonough is safe.

You get to be mesmerized

Just a couple of colorful kids!

Holi is one of the most beautiful festivals, partially because of how amazing it is to see the color floating in the air all around you. And as you stand there with the color dripping down your face or dry on your skin or in your mouth, you’re mesmerized by how beautiful all the colors are when they all come together.

And like the color, people all come together to celebrate and it’s beautiful to see! The festival was absolutely amazing and so many people were laughing, smiling, and running around screaming with color filled in their palms. And everything that happens at Holi (when you go for the first time or not) comes down to one main point: you have fun.