Selling Colored Powder at Holi Fest

Last  night I was digging through various folders on my computer and I came upon a BBC list of “50 Places to See Before You Die.”

These lists always annoy me, because if you’re a foodie, New York City should be numbers one through fifty on the list. If you’re into history and old stuff, parts of China, all of Europe and the some of the Middle East should be on your list. If you’re into culture, the list would be completely different. What about going on a safari on South Africa to see animals in the wild?

When I counted, I was proud to have been to nearly half of the locations on the list. However, the list included a vague visit to “Florida” (Lakeland, anyone?), but had a very specific location like Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on it.

Look, BBC, if you’re going to give us a list of 50 awesome places to go, maybe include a specific part of Florida to visit. The Keys, perhaps? Tallahassee doesn’t have much to offer in the way of beaches and tropical settings. Also, why isn’t “Holi Fest” in India, included? Holi Fest is mostly celebrated by Hindus as the festival of color.

In India, locals stock up on colored powered and in the days leading up to Holi, throw said powder at each other. If you’re short on time, powder can be purchased from many street vendors along the way (like the one above).

This past March, my wife and I visited India during Holi Fest. We didn’t just “swing by” as the timing would allow, but we made an effort to get to the absolute epicienter of Holi Fest in India — Vrindavan.

Vrindavan is said to be the city where Lord Krishna was born, and the next town over is where he studied. Men, women and children all come out to participate in the festival of colors. Entire families are throwing colored power at each other in the streets.

As far as trips go, it was the one adventure testing my wife and my patience and travel abilities. We found out later a lot of locals — who don’t normally consume alcohol — go waaaaaaay overboard on the stuff during the fest. It explained a lot of things along the way, but it still doesn’t explain why India was left off the list of 50 Places to See Before You Die (well, the Taj Mahal made the list, but Delhi or Holi Fest is nowhere to be found). If you’re interested, below is the list. I’ve put an asterisk behind the locations I’ve visited:

1. The Grand Canyon*

2. Great Barrier Reef

3. Florida*

4. South Island

5. Cape Town*

6. Golden Temple

7. Las Vegas*

8. Sydney

9. New York*

10 .Taj Mahal*

11. Canadian Rockies

12. Uluru

13. Chichen Itza, Mexico

14. Machu Picchu, Peru

15. Niagara Falls

16. Petra, Jordan*

17. The Pyramids, Egypt*

18. Venice

19. Maldives

20. Great Wall of China*

21. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

22. Hong Kong*

23. Yosemite National Park

24. Hawaii

25. Auckland, New Zealand

26. Iguassu Falls

27. Paris

28. Alaska*

29. Angkor Wat, Cambodia*

30. Himalayas, Nepal*

31. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil*

32. Masai Mara, Kenya

33. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador*

34. Luxor, Egypt*

35. Rome*

36. San Francisco*

37. Barcelona

38. Dubai*

39. Singapore

40. La Digue, Seychelles

41. Sri Lanka

42. Bangkok*

43. Barbados

44. Iceland

45. Terracotta Army, China*

46. Zermatt, Switzerland

47. Angel Falls, Venezuela

48. Abu Simbel, Egypt*

49. Bali*

50. French Polynesia


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