Adventures in the Lone Star State

Festival of Holi

So, I’m not Hindu, but if life were like this past Saturday evening, I’d be converted. :-) I attended the festival of Holi two years ago, but I arrived too early. I arrived around 4pm and stayed for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, the color throwing festivities did not place until later in the evening and my date wasn’t interested in hanging out for another hour. We also happened to be dressed up, so we didn’t want to get dirty.

Anyway, this year was much better. I went with a small group of friends and we had a blast! Some friends went early and purchased bags of colored powder for us. It was a good thing too because the bags were sold out by the time we got there. It didn’t help that we parked one mile away. I must say, the walk kinda felt like it a pilgrimage.

If you don’t know what the Festival of Holi is, it is a festival to signify the end of cold, wintry days and the arrival of hot, summer days. The bon fire and the burning of the demon represent the destruction of evil (see http://www.colorsofindia.com/holi/aboholi.htm for more info). The colors represent goodwill and cheer. It is a celebration, after all. For non-believers, it’s a great time to celebrate with Hindus and to throw colored powder on your friends and random strangers. After 10-15 minutes of powder throwing, all the powder is gone and people start dancing and singing. The words of this prayer (correct me, if I’m wrong) are:

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA

KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE

HARE RAMA HARE RAMA

RAMA RAMA HARE HARE

I don’t remember when these words were first sung (i.e., before the color throwing or afterward), but they are repeated several dozen times. It was entertaining to see a bunch of white people celebrating since most of the individuals are not actual Hindus. I do appreciate the worshippers allowing us to participate in this joyful occasion, though. If you happen to be in the Provo area next Spring, please stop by the festival, you won’t be disappointed. For more information, please visit the Utah Krishna’s web site.

March 26th, 2007 at 8:49 am


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