Holi: The Festival of Colors

By Chelsea Licea, Interfaith Center Student Staff

Holi, also known as “the festival of colors,” is a Hindu spring festival that is celebrated throughout India and Nepal. Holi celebrates the end of winter and the arrival of spring, along with the triumph of good over evil. Holi lasts for two days, and although it’s date changes every year depending on the Hindu calendar, it normally falls between March and February. The first festivity of Holi is the Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather around a bonfire to perform various rituals and pray.

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However, the most iconic image of the Holi celebration is the next morning on Rangwali Holi, where people of all ages and walks of life gather in the streets to throw colored dust, which is symbolic of the arrival of spring. After Rangwali Holi water fights often ensue, which adds to the fun. The official Holi holiday will take place on March 12-13 this year, but the UNF Interfaith Center hosts an annual Holi celebration at the conclusion of Interfaith Week. This year, we hosted our Holi celebration with the Osprey South Asian Association on February 18.

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After a day of sharing food and fun with people we most likely would not have gotten the opportunity to meet otherwise, I think we were able to see that aside from getting covered head to toe in brightly colored powder, the Holi celebration gives us the opportunity to forget differences and enjoy the arrival of the spring season in the company of others.

 

All photos included were taken by Chelsea Licea.

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