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Water guns, weed smoothies, and explosions of technicolored powder. The Hindu Festival of Holi is maybe the greatest combination of fun high-activities you will ever encounter.

The Holi festival is a celebration of springtime, and all of the qualities associated with it: fertility, new life, and the triumph of light over darkness. However, the festival’s origins can be traced back to a wide breadth of mythologies, traditions, and significances. In other words, there is no single, specific or defining purpose to Holi (other than the broad tenets of love and unity).

Since the date of the festival is determined by the last full moon of a particular Hindu lunar calendar month, it can take place anywhere from February to March. This year, Holi begins on March 1st, 2018. From India to Pakistan, from Nepal to Sri Lanka, those who follow the Hindu faith gather during Holi to bombard friends and strangers alike with fists full of colored dust. While cannabis is illegal in all of these countries, in India weed smoothies get a pass. 

While cannabis is has been illegal in India since 1985, there is an exception made for Bhang Lassi, a cannabis-infused milkshake that is especially popular during Holi.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons/a>

 

 

Made from cardamom, cinnamon, yogurt, and rosewater, Bhang Lassi is infused with cannabis grown in the Himalayas. It can only be sold and produced in government-run Bhang shops. 

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Photo by Tom Maisey/Flickr

Holi lasts for a full two days. On the first day, large bonfires of wood and dung pyres are burned. The second day is when the explosion of colors really begins. 

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Photo by Akhil Mekkatt/ Flickr /a>

The intermingling of colors is symbolic of the celebration’s purpose; to unify people across cultural and religious lines.

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Photo by Steven Gerner/ Flickr /a>

While Hindus might drink Bhang for a spiritual high, as they have since 1400 BC,  some people drink the weed milkshake during Holi to bring out their inner-child. The potency of Bhang depends on how many “balls” of cannabis are put inside of it. 

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Photo by Steven Gerner/ Flickr /a>

Holi has a way of bringing festival goers into the present moment. 

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Photo by Aravindan Ganesan/ Flickr /a>

Even Hindu priests and religious figures get involved in the festival, throwing colored powder on their constituents inside of temples.

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Photo by Poras Chaudhary/ Getty Images

You should probably be aware that personal space does not exist during the festival.

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Photo by Steven Gerner/ Flickr /a>

You can now find color-festivals all over the world, inspired by Holi, but there’s something uniquely magical about the original. Plus it’s the only place where you can get government-sanctioned Bhang Lassi. 

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. (Photo by Eric Meola/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images
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Rob Hoffman

Staff Writer at HERB
I have written mostly about environmental policy and politics for publications like Fusion, ThinkProgress, and Politico. Before that, I was The Executive Editor for The Plaid Zebra.
screen shot 2017 11 02 at 2.13.04 pm Pack Your Bags, Holi Is The Festival of Color... and Marijuana Smoothies (Photos)
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