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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student


A Holi experience

As nature ushers in spring with warmer weather and longer days, people all over India and Indian diaspora populations around the world celebrate the beginning of March with Holi, the festival of colors.

The festival holds both religious and social significance as it is based in the mythological legends of Prahlad and Hiranyakashyap, and Radha and Krishna. Socially, the festival offers an opportunity to bring communities together for a joyous occasion. In fact, it is said that Holi is a time when “even enemies become friends” for the throwing of colors and celebration of radiance in the universe.

Specific Holi rituals vary from region to region, with some choosing to light Holi bonfires and spend evenings in prayer with family, while others choose to celebrate with the ritual of throwing colors.

In the U.K., where the population of Indian immigrants is well over one million and growing, Holi celebrations are widespread. Students at the University of Kent celebrated this year on March 3 with the traditional throwing of colors, gathering students of a wide variety of backgrounds from the community to celebrate the holiday.

Students who came to the celebration wore white T-shirts in preparation for the color- throwing. Organizers passed out dishes of brightly colored powders including vibrant yellows, pinks, greens and blues, and the color throwing began. Even students around campus who were not celebrating Holi could hear the shrieks of laughter coming from festival participants as they ran around outside throwing the colors and enjoying the revelry.

One student reminisced on old times as she enjoyed the celebration this year.

“I haven’t played Holi in eight years,” second-year Diana Davis said. “But this year’s celebration at Kent Uni was great. I had a lot of fun.”

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