Celebrating the Festival of Colors

Ushering in spring and good spirits
Festival participants replenish their powder supplies. (Photo by Taylor Rivkin '14)

Festival participants replenish their powder supplies. (Photo by Taylor Rivkin ’14)

A day filled with laughter and gaiety,
A day to smear our dreams
with a splash of vibrant frenzy colors.
Holi! A Spring of unbounded fun and frolic!
   -Festival of Colors Poem

Laughter, music, and colored powders of blue, pink, and yellow filled the air on the lawn of Thomson Hall last Saturday. The Festival of Colors made its successful debut at OWU as students and other members of the community joined in on the color throwing, and white t-shirts, hair, and faces took on rainbow-like hues. A major festival in India called “Holi,” it is celebrated on the last full moon of the winter season, to usher in the spring, explains Krina Patel ’15, a member of SANGAM, the sponsoring campus club consisting of students from various parts of South Asia.

“Holi is traditionally celebrated with color throwing as well as a bonfire,” says Patel. The bonfire signifies the triumph of truth and good over evil.

“What I loved most about our campus celebration was that it wasn’t just the South Asian community that seemed to have a great time at the event, but the fact that people of all races and religions came together to embrace it,” says Jija Dutt ’14. “It is a time like this that makes you realize what a wonderful extended family OWU is!”

The universal significance of Holi—bringing people together, welcoming spring, rejuvenating the soul—was appealing to many who participated. “Great snacks, fabulous weather, plenty of color, and amazing company helped a lot,” says Priyanka Venkataraman ’14. It was a good blend of culture, community, and tradition.

“Melissa and I experienced Holi in India last summer, and we were thrilled to participate in the Festival of Colors at OWU,” says OWU President Rock Jones. “It is a dynamic springtime tradition that brings together individuals from all walks of life in a bright celebration of the season. Even our dog joined the festivities this year! Special thanks to the students in SANGAM for planning this festive event.”

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