We recently celebrated the Indian/Hindu holiday Holi in Gainesville. We have a friend from Dubai who took us with him while he played with his cousins band. The celebration was a lot of fun. The holiday celebrates the awakening of spring in late February or early March.
In Indian, and maybe parts of the globe, Holi festival has ancient origins. Traditionally explanation of the holiday celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’ and renewal of sweet relationships. The colorful festival also bridges social gaps- and it is true when everyone is covreed in bright colors you just see how bright and colorful it looks and not so much what features the person has, their shape or their origin.
The festival we attended was held at Alachua Hare Krishna Temple. It was a pretty farm with temple, school and amazing gardens growing huge fresh vegetables. We learned a little about hare Krishna- they practice monotheism to their god Krishna, which is in some ways another name for the Hindu god Vishnu, who, “removes illusion”, and allows people to believe in the love of god and the natural transcendental existence of things. Hare Krishna was brought to the United States by Swami Prabhupada in the 1960’s. We see influences of Hare Krishna in modern culture including the songs by the Beatles and references from the late Steve Jobs of Apple. Some Vaishnava literature is also well known/growing in recognition such as the Bhagavad Gita.
However, I diverge from the other weekends events- Holi festival- The Festival of Colors is celebrated by people throwing organic colored powders on each other and exclaiming, “Happy Holi!” The festival has music, dance and food. The experience was a family event- all ages and kinds. The festival was not about who was there but about the right attitude- it was a celebration of life and happiness. The Hindu/Krishna community there was very friendly and welcoming. The music was a lot of fun and the food was good. The best part was all the color everywhere! During the festival there were hourly color throwing when everyone would you gather and throw their colored powders into the air above the crowd! The bright colored clouds in the air looked awesome and everyone was shouting, laughing, hugging anyone and smiling to everyone.
Millions of people celebrate this color festival all over the world. It is without doubt the liveliest event in India and is now becoming popular all over the US!
Post festival day people went to nearby natural state park spring to swim and rinse off the colors. After rinsing off I felt so renewed, blessed and alive! There was an after party with bands playing held at Ayurveda Health Retreat. With live Non-stop Kirtan, Chanting, Hiphop, Funk, Jazz, Rock, Prasadam music performances until late, including bands
This was another exciting, lively, fun filled event. The attendees were passionate, inviting and the atmosphere filled with all around Good Vibes! Make sure to check out some of the videos on my website- the crowd had so much fun!
The festival we attended: http://festivalofcolorsfla.com/index.html
For more photos and video: http://seelizardartphotography.zenfolio.com/p668814123
More on Holi festival: