Have you seen people walking around covered in brightly colored powders today or this weekend? It may be because somewhere in your town, people are celebrating Holi.
By Elizabeth Toy
After seeing and hearing so much about Holi from my Indian friends, I was excited to go to my very first Holi event in Los Angeles this weekend at Whittier Narrows Park.
Holi is the traditional Hindu Festival of Colors, which originated in India. It is also known as the Festival of Love, celebrating the arrival of spring, giving thanks, and the victory of good over evil.
On Saturday afternoon, festival-goers of all ages and backgrounds were ready to celebrate Holi with food trucks, dancing, mashups of Bollywood and pop music, yoga, and of course, by throwing colored powder at each other.
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According to the Telegraph, one of the many legends of Holi says:
“The coloured powder – or gulal – thrown during the festival come from the legend of Krishna, whose skin was dark blue. Worried he wouldn’t be accepted by his love Radha, he mischievously coloured her face to make her like himself.”
The festival of Holi lasts two days, beginning on Purnima, the day of the full moon on the Bikram Sambat Hindu calendar.
On the first day, called Holika Dahan, a bonfire is burned to symbolize the triumph of good over evil, while people pray for longevity and prosperity for their loved ones.
On the second day, Rangpanchami, people play with colors, throwing perfumed and brightly-colored powdered dyes at each other.
The gulal symbolizes the colors that nature welcomes during spring.
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I had a great time making a mess and meeting some new friends at the Holi festival.
My skin is still tie-dyed in a few places, but nothing welcomes spring like throwing colored powder at strangers while you dance to Bollywood music!
How are you celebrating the arrival of spring? Share with us in the comments!
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