Tuesday, April 1, 2014

University of New Orleans Celebrates Holi

Three, two, one....

Several hundred students gathered at the University of New Orleans amphitheater on Sunday, counted down from 10 — then threw colored powder into the air, dancing and shouting to celebrate the arrival of spring. The colorful event, known as Holi, was hosted for the fourth consecutive year on campus by the UNO Student Activities Council and the University's Chakra Indian Student Association, who billed the event as "messy, unadulterated fun."

Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival also known as "the festival of colors" or the "festival of love." Typically celebrated on a full moon at the approach of spring equinox, the fun-filled festival symbolizes the end of winter, arrival of spring and triumph of good over evil.

True Holi Celebrations start with a Holika bonfire the night before Holi, a carnival of colors that may include water fights, drumming and dancing. Special Holi delicacies and drinks are prepared to honor the day, a fun-filled festival designed to help honorees reflect, wipe slates clean and start the New Year.

Families and friends celebrate the festival of love together, drawing on the day as an opportunity to forgive and forget, foster new friendships and frolic with loved ones in the sunshine.

Sunday's event at UNO brought traditional and modern dancing demonstrations, an education session on the traditions and rituals of Holi, live performances and music.