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The traditional spring festival of Holi, a splashy celebration of joy and love, has found it’s way to America. Here’s where you can participate in the color-filled festivities.
In the last few years, Holi festival events have sprung up throughout the United States. Known as “the festival of colors,” it honors the arrival of spring, and, according to Hindu legend, the triumph of good over evil, and the love andlila (divine play) between the deities Radha and Krishna. In practice, it’s a rambunctous childlike game of smearing, splashing, and spraying colored powder and water on everyone you see, just as Krishna is said to have pelted Radha and his devotees with flower petals.
Holi events now happen in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City, among other cities, attracting thousands of participants (and inspiring secular color throws at unrelated festivals, like the popular Color Runs in many cities, and popping up in television commercials and music videos). In addition to the color throw of powdered gulal—dyed and scented cornstarch mixed with jasmine and other herbs—Western renditions of Holi often feature yoga classes, vegetarian fare, and performances by bhakti (devotional) musicians like MC Yogi, DJ Drez, and The Mayapuris.
Want to try? Here are four Holi festivals coming up in the coming month.
Spanish Fork, UT
When: March 29-30
Where: Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, 8628 S. State Rd.
Cost: $3, gate price (kids go free)
When: March 29 (rain date April 5)
Where: International Society for Krishna Consciousness, 10310 Oaklyn Dr., Potomac, MD
Cost: $5 for a color pack
When: April 12Where: Alachua Hare Krishna Temple, 17306 NW 112th Blvd.Cost: $10 (includes 2 bags of color)f estivalofcolorsfla.comNew York CityWhen: May 3Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, 57th Ave. & 72nd St.Cost: $10-25 presalenycholi.com— Shannon Sexton