For many of us in the Western world, spring is associated with regeneration of life and color. As plants grow green and flowers start to bloom after the chill of winter, spring reminds us that a new beginning is always around the corner. Though many Western celebrations pay homage to this cycle, no celebration is quite as colorful as the celebration of Holi.
Now known around the world as the festival of color, Holi has ancient Hindu origins as honoring the triumph of good over evil in the symbolic battle between the Hindu god Vishnu, his follower Prahlada, and King Hiranyakashipu. Today the festival is celebrated worldwide by Hindus and non-Hindus alike, often involving a bonfire, song, dance, and a parade of colors. Typically, washable plant-derived colors in the form of dry powder are used to smear people’s faces and bodies, though some use colored waters to celebrate as well. By the end of the festivities, everyone involved looks like a rainbow of color, ready to usher in the start of a new season.
To get involved in a Holi celebration in NYC this year, check out one of the below events.
Though this year the holiday falls on Tuesday, March 10th, Queen’s Museum will be hosting their annual celebration on Sunday March 15th, so that all willing families and friends will be able to attend. Presented by the Hindu Temple Society of North America, the celebration will include multicultural folk dances, music, and performances from different nationalities and cultures. Of course, there will also be a bright celebration of color, and at the end of the event attendees will be encouraged to take home traditional desserts and drinks to commemorate the vibrant and bountiful occasion.
For a more grown-up celebration of the holiday, visit Stage48’s day and night Holi party on March 7th or 14th. Get painted in the spirited colors of the holiday on the rooftop with the organic Holi powders provided for throwing and playing. Then, after sporting your new colors, head downstairs for hours of dancing to live DJs and feasting on tasty food and drinks in the venue’s four-story club and lounge. To make the most of the festivities, be sure to arrive in all-white attire and prepare to mark the start of spring in a messy and music-filled celebration.