Holi is a Hindu spring festival, also known as the Festival of Colours or the Festival of Love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular in Asia as well as communities outside Asia.
On Mar. 30, the Mesquite Grove at Texas A&M University-Kingsville turned into a colorful arena where participants played, chased and threw color powder at each other’s. The object is to smear other people so that they are full of different colors.
In India dry colored powder and colored water is used during the celebration. Some carry water guns and colored water-filled balloons for the colored event.
Harshada Humbarwadi, graduate electrical engineering major, helped organize the festival along with the International Student Organization and she hopes Holi festival will help other students learn about the Indian culture.
Humbarwadi said the festival is an opportunity to remember the true meaning of the celebration.
“The Festival of Colours was originally celebrated to drive away the evil and start a fresh new colorful life,” she said. “Back in India, on the Holi Eve, there is a camp fire to signify the end of evil and the following morning is the Festival of Colours.”
Humbarwadi said Holi is one of the biggest celebrations in India.
“It is celebrated on a large scale with crowds consisting of all ages from kids to oldies,” she said. “In some places there are gatherings and people play there, or on the roof tops of the houses.”
Humbarwadi said at the end of the festival the entire cities portray a colorful scenery.
Elizabeth Laurence, International and Multicultural Program Coordinator, said what makes Holi so unique is the enthusiastic spirit in which it is celebrated.
“Colors are thrown into the air and onto people as a shower of joy, along with water balloons to make the colors come to life with vibrancy,” Laurence said.
The celebration itself unites people regardless of their beliefs or rivalries, she said.
“The spirit of Holi encourages the feeling of brotherhood in society,” Laurence said. “Even arch enemies become friends on this day.”
Holi is expected to spread happiness and closeness among relatives and friends, said computer science graduate student and India native, Kanny Dokania.
He said the festival also makes him feel at home while making new friends with different cultural backgrounds.
“Holi helps get relief from stress but at the same time gives the opportunity to know others,” Dakonia said.
Dakonia said he feels good to be sharing a little bit of his culture with all the other cultures that comprise this diverse campus.