South Indians celebrate Holi

Festival of colors

India is a successful exporter of strange rituals. Millions of Europeans and Americans dislocate their limbs while practicing yoga. The latest trend from the subcontinent is not about getting a pain-free back. The goal is: to freak out.

The Indians have been celebrating the so-called Holi festival since time immemorial. Spring is welcomed on the first full moon day of the month of Phalgun (here in February or March) and should be reconciled with fellow men at the same time. The party came to the western world through fans of India. 25,000 people celebrated this year at a Holi festival in London, but almost every small German town and even Dubai followed suit. The principle: loud music; Now and then a moderator counts down a countdown, at zero everyone throws colored powder made of colored cornmeal into the air and at the party celebrating.

People are less interested in the spiritual side of the festival - but that's similar to yoga. In fact, Holi fits in well with the time. At parties, you don't just want to have fun, you also want to document this fun with photos. And the pictures of dancers smeared with paint look just great. (Luisa Seeling)

Divorce party

The market is large: More than a third of the marriages concluded in Germany are divorced, in 2014 it was just under 170,000. That makes 340,000 potential hosts of divorce parties. As is so often the case, the inspiration comes from the USA, where many wedding planners now also have divorce parties in their program. Some customers spend the same amount of effort and money on the party as they do on the wedding, including location scout, stylist, professional catering and DJ.

A separate industry is currently emerging in Germany for these celebrations and the accessories that go with them: a mini coffin in which the wedding ring can be placed and a cake with the icing "Just divorced" on it. The entertainment program includes events such as burning the clothes of an ex-husband or ex-wife. You can also throw darts at a photo of your loved one. The idea: The newly divorced should end their old relationship, find their peace, so that they can then look ahead. Maybe that's not a bad idea: If you're celebrating the beginning of a relationship, why not celebrate the end too? (Laura Hertreiter)

First day of school

"Papa?" Asks the child. "Today everyone goes out to dinner with their families. Why don't we?" It is the day of school enrollment. An incredibly important day in Germany. All children learn to read. Indians and Chinese. Who has the biggest school cone? What is inside? Who is allowed to go forward in the parish priest's service? Who does not? Even at the North Pole, all Eskimos read. Hello children, here we go. Who is dressed how? Who is in the front of the class? Who has the best satchel, the coolest pencil case? Who eats in which chic restaurant?

"A," says the monkey when it bites the apple. The ugly school bag that I'm holding on my school enrollment photo wasn't mine at all. The school photographer had brought them with him back then. For all. We come from the blue mountains. Our teachers are just as stupid as we are. On the first day of school, like the next twelve years, I ate lunch with my grandmother. My parents didn't have time. After that, I went to play alone in the woods with my buddies. My hair was greasy. Broken my jeans. School is a mess. We want heat-free. They were all rituals too. And rituals should above all: relax people. (Martin Zips)

Alternative baptism

For centuries people in the western world greeted a new citizen in the same way: water was poured on his head, the pastor muttered a blessing, and afterwards there was coffee and cake and maybe beer for the guests.

Now only just under half of all children are baptized. At the same time, parents have never been so proud of their newborn baby in human history. So there is great interest in a solemn ritual. For example, you can book shamans who dance around the campfire with the parents and ask for divine blessings for the child. Some parents forego spiritual assistance and design the ceremony themselves: The guests plant trees and present their wishes for the baby.

By the way, the Brothers Grimm already report on an alternative baptism ritual. In the "Sleeping Beauty" it says: "The queen gave birth to a girl who was so beautiful that the king could hardly believe his joy and organized a great festival. He not only invited his relatives, friends and acquaintances, but also the wise women so that they would be kind to the child and weighed down. " (Anna G√ľnther)