Berlin Holi Open Air Festival 2012

by James Glazebrook

Never heard of the Holi Open Air Festival? Michelle Shildkret (@miishi) captured some amazing photos of the first official Berlin celebration of Holi, and explained what the fritz is going on…  

Berlin Holi Open Air Festival 2012 pink

It seemed like any other possibly sunny/possibly rainy Sunday in Berlin, but something colorful was brewing on the streets near Postbahnhof. If you happened to stroll by the Fritz Club, you would have seen over a thousand people, mostly wearing white, streaming in ready to get dirty. Indian electro music was pumping from inside, the smell of Indian food was in the air and everyone was anxious to get a hold of some fine powder for their enjoyment. Why? Because this was Berlin’s first official Holi Open Air Festival.

Berlin Holi Open Air Festival 2012 crowd

The festival of Holi is a celebration of the Colors of Unity and Brotherhood – an opportunity to forget all differences and have a lot of fun. According to, it is one occasion when sprinkling colored powder (“gulal”) or colored water on each other breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal brotherhood is reaffirmed.

Berlin Holi Open Air Festival 2012 blue

Berlin Holi Open Air Festival 2012 cheer the police

Attendees were able to purchase bags of colored powder to lovingly throw at each other and before you knew it, everyone’s crisp white outfits (and even their beers) turned into a rainbow of blues, greens, neons and more. It was a swarming rainbow of blissed-out partiers, dancing and enjoying. As this was Berlin, it wasn’t long before the rain came down. But the dancing continued as Mother Nature helped start the clean-up process. Everyone was soaked and in a great mood – it was so Holi and so Berlin.

Berlin Holi Open Air Festival 2012 yellow

Find more about Holi Open Air here.

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