Tales of a City Girl

Holi in the City – prepare to get messy

Would you like to throw paint at your colleagues? Right in the mug? You would? You animal. Better not tell HR.

Well, good news is, now you can thanks to the House of Holi, the brainchild of Indian restaurant, Cinnamon Kitchen.

Before I begin, do you know what Holi is? Nope, I didn’t either. But for the interests of hard-hitting blog journalism here you have it – Holi is the spring festival associated with Krishna when people throw coloured powder and water at each other. Holi also celebrates creation and renewal (cheers BBC).

The thing you need to know in context of this blog post, however, is that it gives you free rein to chuck a copious amount of powdered paint around a small room and down the backs of your work colleagues’ shirts. Smashing.

In the interests of building work friendships, myself and four of my work pals went along to Cinnamon Kitchen to see what the fuss is about. Plus, because Thomas had got free tickets through his friend. This is the kind of friend I like.

The restaurant has set up an outdoor room in the courtyard looking out over the back, which was already ominously streaked with paint when we got there, with a cloud of powder hanging over it.

We were given overalls (well, those we could find discarded around) before being given an introductory talk by the lady running it. Her main words of advice were ‘Do not aim the paint in the eyes or the mouth. If you are in trouble, try to call me, and I will try to help you’, which wasn’t particularly reassuring. Then we were off.

For some reason, before I went, I didn’t imagine having to even wash my hair afterwards. I kind of pictured wearing an overall with a few streaks on; maybe a dribble of paint down my face if I was particularly unlucky.

But, holy (or should I say Holi?) shit. I can imagine this was kind of like what Pompeii was like after the volcano explosion (although, yes, this was with powdered paint, not choking ash). There was powdered paint everywhere. Everyone pretty much just became a shadow, or a potentially moving target. Paint was flung in my face, my hair, down my back… pretty much everywhere. Even my bra had to go in the laundry basket afterwards.

And it was so.much.fun. You come out feeling on a high, which I’m not going to put down to paint fumes. If you’re not afraid of a bit of mess, and looking like a zombie on the tube home, this is the Holi celebration for you.

  • Holi in the City of London is run by Cinnamon Kitchen in Devonshire Square 5-14 March. Find out more here.