P is for Paint Festival

| May 5, 2014

This past Saturday I went to a festival in brooklyn called Holi. It’s a traditional Indian festival that they started doing in New York a few years ago.

Holi Phagwa is the Hindu festival of colors. It celebrates the coming of spring, fruitful harvests, unity, joy, and a tale from the Bhagavad Gita. It is traditional to celebrate by, among other things, throwing vibrantly colored powder (Holi Gulal) at one another. In addition to the throwing of colored powder it is traditional to light bonfires in celebration of the miraculous escape of a young devotee of the god Vishnu. A demon tried to throw him into a fire, but he escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. (We of course, will be lighting no bonfires)

That’s a little bit about the tradition and as it says a big part of the festival is throwing powdered paint all over everyone there while music plays and general joy and rowdiness runs a muck. It was an incredible experience. I have been to music and arts festivals before and this was essentially just a smaller version, but the paint added an interesting element and took the whole thing somewhere I didn’t expect. It seemed to really give a cohesive comradery to the entire crowd.