When I ask planters in Darjeeling when they will begin the first pluckings of the year, they always gives roughly the same reply: around the time of the Holi Festival. Holi takes place in India every year at the beginning of spring. It’s the festival of colours. To celebrate, everyone arms themselves with plenty of coloured pigments and throws them in the faces of people around them. Throughout the day, they cover their laughing friends – and anyone else they come across – in a riot of colours.
With its coat of bright pink and orange, this elegant creature climbing over a tea bud looks like it has been taking part in Holi. The tea harvest is surely about to start.