The Holi (or Phagwah) Festival of Colors is an annual welcoming of spring in the Hindu religion.
Although Canton experienced an erratic spell of hot weather and now we’re back to the seasonal chill, Holi was celebrated this year on March 8th. It is primarily observed in the Indo-Asia region, Southeast Asia, Caribbean, throughout the United States and wherever there are those with Indian roots.
This exuberant festival is the farewell to winter on the last full moon day of the lunar month and can go on for two days. The main day, Holi, is celebrated with colored powders and perfumes thrown at one another. Prayers and offerings are made, and then bonfires are lit for various figures in Hindu mythology. These few days of celebration allows the social castes of Hindusim to break free and come together as one in religious fervor. Why wouldn’t you want to run around in the streets, covered in technicolor powder for the love of spring?
If you would like some Western interpretations of Holi, check out Ke$ha’s “Take it Off” music video and “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor, or search for videos from the most recent festival. At St. Lawrence, the Asian Students’ Intercultural Association (A.S.I.A.), the I-House and the Chaplain’s Office has collaborated to usher in spring, traditional-Hindu style. I participated last year and it was exhiliarting and stress-relieving to run around on the quad and throw myself into the colors and the new joys of the season!
I’m helping organize the event once more this year, so be on the lookout—Holi will probably be scheduled for the last week of classes, weather permitting (ideally on Friday, May 4th). As always, it will be a free and open opportunity to the St. Lawrence community. Take a well-deserved break before exams begin, grab some white clothes and celebrate Holi!
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