What better way to celebrate the leaving of winter by frolicking on the grass and throwing vibrant colorful powder at each other? One traditional Hindu festival has become popular among the young adults—Holi. Though this campus event wasn’t as large scale as the one organized by NYC Bhangra a couple of weeks ago, it still attracted a full court yard of students.

The event organized by HSC, Hindu Student Council, luckily landed on a sunny day on April 7. According to Pavitra Srinivasan, the current council president, HSC has held this tradition since 2008. A total of 600 bags of Holi powder were ordered from the Patel Brothers storein Queens, N.Y. in advance, surpassing the previous years.

 Around 350 students indicated they were “attending” on the event’s Facebook page. Everyone received a bag of red, green, purple, or yellow in the first round. Midway through the afternoon, a second bag was given to pairs of attendees.

 During the festival, the spirit of unison was strong. Everyone became super friendly, and would randomly smash colors on the cheeks, backs and shoulders of others. “You need more red here” and “Happy Holi” were constantly heard. Some went as far as riding on each other’s shoulders to spray love, or powder, expeditiously. One attendee filled a recycle bin with water and poured “luck” on a few fortunate, or unfortunate celebrators.

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Despite the chaotic state, everyone still acted with discretion. Only close friends dared to play jokes and throw powder into each other’s faces, until one became the manifestation of literally “eating”, “breathing”, and “living” colorfully.

The significance of this celebration was a battle of good and evil. “Holi” derives from a Hindu legend. Prahlada, a devout follower of the god Vishnu, is sentenced to sit on the lap of a demoness, Holika, inside of a pyre by his father for refusing to accept him as a god. Because of his devotion to Vishnu, Prahlada was spared and only Holika was burned to death, symbolizing the defeat over evil.

Holi powder only binds to light-colored shirts and easily comes off of black ones. According to holifestival.org, these powders are healthy for the skin when made with natural ingredients. Green is made of mehendi/henna powder; yellow from turmeric or chrysanthemums; red by sandalwood; and blue by Jacaranda flowers. As a result, many of these powders carry a distinctive and meditative aroma.

Regarding future celebrations, Srinivasan plans to order even more packets for next year and commented “We love that so many people attend the event and enjoy it, but we want to eventually make it so that we don’t have to limit the number of packets. Honestly, the sky is the limit! Most of the executive board this year is graduating, so I am really excited to see what people come up with for the next year!”

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