This past Friday the AUM Hindu Association celebrated the Festival of ‘Holi’ on campus. The event was held in Messa House and was open to the entire campus community, including faculty and staff members
An ancient Hindu religious festival, Holi, is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin and Nepalese Diaspora.
In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colors and has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
The event was a free-for-all carnival of colors, where participants played, chased and colored each other with dry powder and colored water, with some carrying water guns for their water fight.
One of the attendees at the event, Danielle Gregg ‘19 said, “Having never celebrated Holi before, I am intrigued how colors can be used to celebrate love and unity. I love Holi, and can’t wait to celebrate it every year from now on.”
The festival, itself, fulfills numerous purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter.
To many Hindus, Holi festivities mark the beginning of the New Year as well as an occasion to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and rid themselves of accumulated emotional impurities from the past.
The entire E-board of the AUM Hindu Association was present there, and one of the members presented a small speech too, emphasizing the importance of Holi in a historical context. Hein Htet Aung ’18, another attendee at the event said, “Coming from a country with a small population of Hindus, I was always curious about how Holi was celebrated. I think Holi is the perfect festival to bring people of all races and ethnicities together and share a common bond of love and unity.
The AUM Hindu Association hopes to hold more events on campus in the future and give the campus community a platform to learn more about the Hindu culture and religion.