Over a thousand students participated in the 2013 edition of the OxHoli festival, in what ammounts to an organised water fight with paint. The day was organised by Oxford University’s Hindu Society (HumSoc), who supplied coloured paints and water guns which were sold to attendees. Students arrived in fresh, white clothes, which were quickly stained in different colours by eager ambushers.
Holi is a festival of huge cultural significance for Hindus: it celebrates the coming of spring, enjoying its abundant colours. OxHoli, Oxford’s version of the event, has proved popular across the university: the Facebook event had over 2700 confirmed guests. Despite ordering 150% more supplies than last year, HumSoc reported that these were all sold out within half an hour.
Spirits were high, with some even discussing attack strategies and picking out their next victims. There was loud music and a photography competition; an overall sense of camaraderie was evident from the circles of dancers and human pyramids that formed. Strangers greeted strangers, and then spattered them with paint. The glorious sunshine only added to the heady excitement of the day.