Hindus Celebrate Holi "The Festival Of Colors" At Sri Lakshmi Temple
Priyanka Javlekar and Swati Sharma
Holi, or “the festival of colors,” has been celebrated across India since ancient times. The festival celebrates the arrival of spring with all its beautiful colors and vibrant life. It is also coupled with many stories from the Hindu folklore that play a significant role in the different phases of the celebration.
Organized by the Youth, Cultural, and Educational Programs (YCEP) Committee of Sri Lakshmi Temple, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), India Development & Relief Fund (IDRF) and Sewa International, this celebration was attended by 350-400 people. The eventful day consisted of prayers conducted by a priest, Holika Dahan (a bonfire) that was lit in the middle of the playing field, and powdered colors distributed and thrown onto friends and family. It was a joyous occasion marked by the sound of laughter and pure merriment coming from the participants. The festival of colors was celebrated with great enthusiasm by smearing powdered colors onto friends and family. Bhutanese refugee families that reside in Springfield, MA, were invited by Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America to come and celebrate the Hindu “Holi” day.
NEHTI, VHPA, Sewa and IDRF had a wonderful program line-up, starting with a cultural program where the young children sang religious and patriotic songs. Several lively dances followed, with a rousing Bhangra as the finale to the program.
The crowd then went outdoors for the puja and Holika Dahan conducted by the priest. Young and old joined in jubilation once they started throwing and applying the brilliant colors of Holi onto friends and family, and wished each other “Happy Holi”. Young and old alike danced to festive Indian music while youngsters chased each other fighting for more colors.
All this merriment would not be complete without a sumptuous vegetarian meal. VHPA volunteers and the Sri Lakshmi Temple staff prepared the delicious food that was lovingly served to all by the dedicated volunteers of IDRF and Sewa.
While the fun of throwing colors continued, everyone sat together on the lawn near the temple and shared the mid-afternoon vegetarian meal under the warm early spring sunshine. Everyone agreed that it was the perfect end to a perfect day.
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