will be filled with the vibrant hues of color and music Saturday as people gather to celebrate Holi, commonly known as the Indian Festival of Colors.
Signifying the end of winter and beginning of spring, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Hindus around the world, especially in India and Nepal. Holi is known for being a celebration of happiness, music and laughter. Although the festival is not very religious it is perhaps the most fervently rejoiced day by Hindus, according to the The Times of India.
Celebrations consist of throwing colored paint and dye upon each other in a fun, energetic and peaceful atmosphere that is filled with music and food, according to the book Festivals of India by Vedic Quest. Traditionally certain flowers and healing herbs such as Neem and Kumkum were used to make the colors, but that practice lessened over the years and many now use synthetics. Also, the eve of the festival includes the lighting of bonfires.
Besides being a time of a celebration, Holi is also as a time when people stand as equals and social barriers of class, sex and age are broken, a very profound gesture in a society with a long history of caste systems. Because it is known as a time when social norms are thrown aside and people celebrate wildly, the festival has increased in popularity with many non-Hindus, and is celebrated in various colleges and concert type events throughout the county.
Holi is celebrated on the last day of the lunar month of Phalguna, falling around late February or early March, and has its roots in Hindu legends celebrating the triumph of good over evil. This year, Holi is on Thursday, March 8. However, most planned celebratory events occur on the following Saturday throughout several locations in the Los Angeles area, including Arcadia Park.
The holiday celebrates several mythological legends, including the story Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap, and Radha and Krishna, among others. To learn more about the mythological and religious significance of the holiday, click here.
For information about the event in Arcadia, click here. Colors will be provided by the organizers. The Arcadia Park event is sponsored by the Pasadena Hindu Temple, and is free and open to the public.