The first day of our summer holiday was spent child free together at the Holi One festival in Leeds, with one of my old college friends who I haven’t spent any quality time with for absolutely ages, Steph.
Set in the grounds of the beautiful Harewood House in Leeds, the Holi One festival is based on the colourful Holi festival in India where people colour each other with abeer and gulal and throw it in the air. This tradition of colouring each other and throwing paint powder is adopted by the Holi One festival and therefore to make the most of the colourful celebration everyone is asked to turn up in white clothing.
Looking windswept in our clean white clothes before the paint was thrown. Luckily they were giving away bandanas with drinks at the bar so that saved my hair from the wind.
The Holi One festival however has the added bonus of music and the English festival vibe thrown in. We turned up to a small fenced off area that the festival was set within. In all honesty, when we turned up we were a bit disappointed, I think we had all been expecting a larger setting and a bigger event. Once the festival got going though and the atmosphere took off we had so much fun.
The music was mainly dance music which isn’t my usual choice of listening material but it was quite nice to have a dance around and pretend I was 18 again. The atmosphere was really friendly with strangers coming up and throwing paint powder at you. We were all also mixing the powder with water (or beer) to make actual paint as the wind was just blowing all the powder away so people kept coming up to us and putting paint on our faces or leaving cheeky hand marks on bum cheeks. Being so small made it a really intimate, friendly festival. I think this was quite apt as the Holi festival in India has ancient origins in celebrating triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’ and bridges the social gap.
We were blessed with a glorious day (apart from the wind) and danced and laughed in the sun for a good 5hrs before we called it a day (5hrs of dance music can be a bit much when it’s not really your thing). We also managed to get some rock n roll dancing in for good measure and Steph was throwing some Charleston moves to one track too.
It’s safe to say by the end of the day we were absolutely covered in paint (Ant even had some on his man parts) and when we went to Tesco on our way home we got a few laughs and turned a few heads as I’m sure you can imagine.
It was a perfect way to start our two weeks off together and a great way to catch up with Steph and reminded me just how much I’ve missed our crazy fun together.
We will definitely be going again next year!