Utahns celebrate Holi festival with food, dance and colored powder

Participants in the Holi Festival of Colors socialize in front of the Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple in Spanish Fork. They wore white clothes, bringing out the colored powder. (Mélanie Andrews)

SPANISH FORK – The Hindu community and other Utahns celebrated Holi at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple Saturday and Sunday. The two-day celebration consisted of throwing colorful powders, dancing, singing, doing yoga and lots of food.

“It’s a party. The roads are closed. People everywhere are celebrating and having fun,” BYU law student Shubi Shah said of her childhood memories of celebrating Holi in India.

Usually celebrated in the spring, Holi is a Hindu celebration of life and rejuvenation. “Even though we have it in the fall, we are supposed to move on, transform ourselves for the better, get rid of the old, unveil the new,” said Caru Das Adikari, priest of Krishna temple. .

The festival also celebrated the diversity and how everyone compliments each other, Adikari said. “You don’t have to be afraid, suspicious or suspicious of people who look different from you. It just means that they are providing something that you can’t, that’s it.

There were people of the Hindu faith at the festival as well as members of many other faiths and backgrounds.

“We are not black or white or Christians or Hindus, these are designations and they are generated from body and mind that we are not,” Adikari said.

Shah, who grew up in both India and Africa, said that for him Holi represents unity. He explained that in India almost everyone lives in apartments, like in New York, because there are so many people. Holi would get the whole community to celebrate together.

Shah recalled one of his favorite memories of Holi when his friend threw a whole bucket of water at him. “It’s been a long night putting my phone in rice,” he said.

Holi festival attendees dance and sing along to live music. The festival featured several singers and dancers who performed throughout the two days. (Mélanie Andrews)

The festival had 11 food vendors, all vegetarians and vegans. Adikari explained that the festival is meant to celebrate the commonalities and more specifically the “eternal life force” in everyone.

“If you develop this principle, it means that we must not only respect living beings in human bodies, but in animal bodies, reptile bodies, bird bodies. We have to respect life wherever we see it, because life, all life, comes from God, who is divine, ”Adikari said.

BYU student Autumn DeLange from Provo was at the festival for her festival class and experience design and management events. “Basically we go to festivals to see what’s going on so we can see how to plan them,” DeLange said.

DeLange and her friend, Haley Nelson, said they enjoyed the food from one of the vendors, Krishna’s Cuisine. “They have a lot of options… we have to try a lot of things,” DeLange said.

Krishna’s Cuisine sold “five-course platters” which were popular at the event. The platters included basmati rice, chana garbanzo pepper, a garden vegetable curry with paneer, sak paneer and cherry halwa, a traditional Indian dessert.

Shah said he liked the diversity of Indian cuisine. “There are some parts of India where I have never tasted their cuisine… If you move from one state to another or even from one region to another, from one region to another, the cuisine changes completely, ”Shah said.

The festival also had llamas to stroke and henna – a reddish-brown dye used to make temporary tattoos – as well as colored powders, tie-dye, crystals, jewelry and clothing for sale.

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