2nd Dec 2012 4:40pm | By Alex Harmon
If you listen to Karl "The Idiot Abroad" Pilkington, the Holi Festival in India “is paintball, basically. Without the safety.”
However, we all know Ricky Gervais' punching bag in cargo shorts is a whinging Pom.
In Hindu mythology, the Indian festival of colour, or Holi, as it’s known, is a positive day of celebration, symbolising the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
It is this philosophy that the organisers of the Swisse Color Run took on board when they decided to transport the most vibrant 5km race on the planet to Australia this year.
“The Hindu Holi festival, with its tradition of throwing colour to welcome spring was absolutely an inspiration for the founders of The Color Run,” explains Luke Hannan, national manager of Australia’s very first Color Run.
“Along with a range of other events encouraging happiness, positivity and celebrating life.”
The Color Run (which began in the US, hence the spelling of colour) arrived in Australia last month, with the first race in Melbourne a huge success.
The event only really has two requirements: wear white clothing. And, secondly, be completely plastered in colour at the finish line of the race.
As the website says, runners will “look like they fell into a Willy Wonka tie dye vat of colored goodness. We are the creators of an all new paint race phenomena!”
This concept began in the US in January and has ran through 60 cities across the country.
At the start of the race (which isn’t at all about racing – or winning), each runner must wear white, and as they pass each kilometre, they are sprayed by people armed with mustard bottles of colour.
“The phenomenon started in the US when event founder and keen triathlete and runner Travis Snyder launched The Color Run,” explains Hannan.
“It’s a day out with fun, health and happiness at its core, providing a chance for serious runners to share their passion with family and friends. It really is the happiest 5km on the planet!”
And while Mr Pilkington might have you worried about safety, the organisers of the race have ensured the colour blasting is completely safe.