Celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colors


Smithsonian Magazine

People celebrating Holi in the midst of a color war

Francesca Divincenzo, A&E editor

Holi is a popular Hindu festival also known as the festival of colors. According to Asiahighlights.com, “Holi” comes from a legend in which the demoness Holika
was sent by King Kiranyakashipu to kill his son Prahlada. “Holika tried to trick Prahlada into burning to death on a pyre.Still, because her intentions were
evil, she was the one who was burned and killed,” the website explains.Many people know about the popular Hindu holiday because of the color war. This aspect of the holiday comes from the legend of the Hindu god Lord Krishna. According to traditional stories, Krishna was well-known for playing pranks and being mischievous. One prank he played on the village girls involved dousing them in colors and water.Today, the colors are designed to represent and express joy. The
holiday is celebrated all over the world.In India, the festival lasts two days even though the prepping for the celebration starts weeks in advance.According to Asiahighlights.com, “The main events of the celebration are the burning of Holika that takes place on the first evening of celebrations and the color fight that occurs the next day.”The burning of the Holika is when an effigy is burned to symbolize the demolition of evil. “When the ceremony starts, the effigy of Holika and Prahlada is placed on the pyre. Normally the effigy of Holika is made from combustible material whereas Prahlada’s is made from noncombustible material to represent the holiday’s mythological origins.When the fire is lit, the ritual begins with the chanting of holy verses,” Asiahiglights.com said.The next day of the festival is the color fight.People take to the streets to celebrate with their neighbors and friends armed with colored powders, liquid colors, water guns and
water balloons.The color fight is a true show of equality between men and women and people of all social backgrounds, meaning that everyone is
fair game whether they are young kids or little old ladies. I think the most exciting part of Holi is that even people who do not like each other forget the hate
and the pain of one another and come together and celebrate such a great holiday.
According to holi festival.org, “the tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on Holi and forget any feeling of hardship that may be present.”
Besides, on this day, people do not differentiate between the rich and poor and everybody celebrates the festival with a spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood.
To honor this cultural event,MAC/SAC(Multicultural Activities Council and Student Activities Council) dedicated on of their weekend events to honoring this
tradition.There was food from Tandoori Hut Indian Cuisine that is located on Washington Avenue in case anyone is looking for some good Indian food around Erie.Unfortunately due to weather conditions, the color run that was supposed to happen at the event had to be postponed. Do not worry if you missed
out on this opportunity, it is now happening on Friday, April 14 for Pride Drag Queen Bingo!