The Holi Festival - An Upcoming Diversity Event Not to Miss
Join the Diversity and Culture Committee to celebrate Holi, a Hindu spring festival of colors. Although Holi primarily draws its origins from the burning of the demoness ‘Holika’ in Hindu mythology, the festival today is recognized more as a time for celebration — almost inevitably involving the use of colors in various forms.
It is easily one of the most anticipated, joyful, memorable and definitely the most colorful days in the Hindu calendar.
About The Holi Festival
Exact celebration rituals vary, but the common thread running through them all is the smearing and tossing of colors on friends, family and anyone who appears not to be wearing an expensive dress! Water guns, water balloons, and water pistols all come out of storage without fail on this day. And so should those old clothes you had forgotten you even had!
Personally for me, Holi has always lived up to its expectations. A certain air of camaraderie and bonding is inevitably shared and felt by all who play with the colors. The colors almost act as a unifying agent--dissolving all identities into an amalgam of bright shades of red, blue, green and pink (Yes pink!).
Even though America has a sizeable Indian population, the fraction of Americans and people of other nationalities who are familiar with Holi (or have even heard of it) is fairly small. The Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Iowa located in Madrid (about 20 mins from Des Moines) is organizing a Holi celebration on Saturday, March 30th at 11:00 AM. It is open to the public irrespective of nationality, race and religion. Colors will be provided and there will be snacks available after the celebration. The festivities are free of cost and so is all the fun.
Tips to Celebrate The Holi Festival
- Wear clothes you know you will not have to use in the future.
- Always be careful while playing with the colors – powders or colored water. It is not fun to have colored powder in your eyes.
- Be sure you have a blanket or some protection from colors on your car seats.
- The colors usually wear off the skin completely within 1-2 days. Showing immediately will remove most of the colors from your skin and hair.
- There will definitely be many opportunities for colorful photographs - that is if you can keep your camera from being covered in color itself!
- No alcohol consumption is allowed before or during the festivities. Please respect the sanctity of the religious occasion.
For more information on the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Iowa, see this link: iowatemple.org/
Still wondering what this festival is about? Watch this video of a Holi celebration here in the USA: youtube.com/watch?v=Hh-o5g4tLVE
Akshay N Ramprakash
Diversity Committee Member