Hindu Festival Blooms Brightly In Spanish Fork

March 28, 2009

Author: David Burger

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune


More than 15,000 people celebrated the arrival of spring Saturday afternoon at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, and more than 15,000 spent Saturday evening in the shower, washing, rinsing and repeating.

And repeating.

And repeating.

The Hindu congregation welcomed the community to partake in Holi, the Festival of Colors, where the highlight for many of the participants was the "throwing of the colors." One-hundred-gram bags of brightly colored, aromatic powder were opened and thrust into the air, blanketing the crowd with the amplified colors of spring.

"So much of the time, religious services put you to sleep," said Charu Das, festival coordinator. "This will give you more spiritual advancement than sitting in church for four hours."

Most of the festivalgoers were teenagers and college students. Das said the four-hour event, in its tenth year, has become "the unofficial spring break for BYU [students]."

Holi is a Hindu holiday that commemorates the escape of Prahlad (a character from the Puranic texts of Hinduism) from the demonic witch Holika. According to the texts, the evil Holika carried the virtuous Prahlad into a large fire, but in a twist of fate, she burned while he remained unharmed because of his devotion to Lord Vishnu.