The Color Purple

This is not for the faint of heart. To be surrounded by thousands of completely drenched color-stained, clearly inebriated revelers is a little disconcerting. The spectacular color wars had begun. All those piles of colored powders had been combined with water and were now being hurled indiscriminately at anyone fool hardy enough to pass by. Mixing all the vivid pigments together eventually turns everyone into a sloppy purple mess. It’s an ugly, muddled chaos and looks like a complete blast. As foreign tourists, we were warned that the ensuing madness can sometimes turn dangerous, thus with some resignation, we watched from a distance. The other explosive ingredient to the carnival is bhang. A mixture of milk, spices, honey, and cannabis, this concoction adds to the surreal flavor of this festival. It also can be a rather problematic ingredient when combined with the usually sober youth. We didn’t try the bhang – sounded too much like dung – and I’m sure that’s what everybody felt like the next day.

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