Krishna Temple set for return of annual Holi Celebration
As they have for the past 28 years, the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork is preparing to host their annual Holi Festival of Colors celebration on March 25 and 26.
People are invited to put aside their differences and sing, dance, throw colors, do yoga, listen to live music and share a meal together.
“In India, Holi announces the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. The festival breathes an atmosphere of social merriment. People bury their hatchets with a warm embrace and throw their worries to the wind,” reads the Festival of Colors website.
Holi is a celebration rooted in ancient Hindu tradition. It is known for solemnizing the love between god Krishna and goddess Radha, as well as honoring Krishna with the throwing of colored powders, a sport that Krishna and his followers engaged in. Holi is also known for celebrating the destruction of the demoness Holika.
Today, approximately 20,000 people come together in Spanish Fork to celebrate community every year — making it the largest Holi celebration in North America. For some, this will be their first time attending this event; for others, it is a yearly tradition.
“Festival of Colors celebrates that which we all have in common: life, consciousness. It’s a celebration of life, of spirit, which is eternal and from God. The theme is that all life is sacred, no matter whether it’s in a male or female body, black or white body, or even human or animal body,” Caru Das, temple director, said to Daily Herald.
Das still remembers the first year the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple held a festival of colors, in 1995, saying a few of his Indian friends came to a normal day of Sunday services at the temple with colors in hand. As soon as they entered, they covered the nearest face in color — that of a Brigham Young University student.
The shocked congregation waited for the student to express outrage, but instead he laughed and grabbed a handful of colored cornstarch, becoming one of the first participants in the now-annual gathering.
“Attendees always remark about how friendly and respectful everyone is, how accepting and non-judgmental. After all of the above, if someone still takes their own physical appearance seriously, being doused in colors is the magic formula to start laughing at yourself and letting go of pretensions,” Das said.
The event will be held at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple at 311 W. 8500 South, Spanish Fork, on March 25 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on March 26 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Artists who will be performing at the event include the Punjabi Arts Academy, Jai Krishna and Ananda Groove, Bolly X Fitness, Bollypop Utah, Samadhi Vibration, Malini, Aakansha Maheshwari, The Butter Thieves, DJ Crisanto, Junior Miranda, Team Harsh, TK and Nam Rock, and Bali Rico, with yoga instructors Jai Krishna, Julia and Janet Waterman and Das as announcer and senior rapper.
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at http://festivalofcolorsusa.com. Attendees are encouraged to wear white, to better showcase the thrown colored cornstarch, and take proper safety precautions.