March 28, 2010

#19 Festival of Colors

On the last full moon of the lunar month, Hindu's and many other people all over the world celebrate the end of Winter and the arrival of Spring. They do so by having a Holi Festival, aka the Festival of Colors. Thousands gather together and are given, or purchase, bags of vibrant colored flour/chalk and count down until a full blown "color war".

The biggest Holi Festival in the United States is held at the Lotus Krishna Temple in a small town here in Utah called Spanish Fork. People fly in from all over the US to attend, and thousands of Utah residents make the drive to Spanish Fork every year. Well over 30,000 people participated this year and 50,000 bags of colors were imported from India and were completely sold out.

I had the opportunity to go to the second session yesterday and it was honestly one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I went with some of my close high school friends and we almost didn't make it on time. Spanish Fork is about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City and normally takes about an hour to get there. There were so many people on the freeway driving down there that it took almost 2 hours. People were parking up and down the streets all over the town and we had to park about a mile or so away. We got there just two minutes before the countdown started and when we went to buy the bags of colors they had been sold out for over 20 minutes. So we just headed down into the crowd and counted down with the tens of thousands of other people.

When the countdown ended handfuls of colors were thrown up into the sky, and into people's faces :] The air was so thick with colors that we could hardly breathe for a few minutes.
We sang, we danced, we celebrated!
Charity, Melissa, and I

Me and Mary Joy!

Will's face!

My eye.
Charity's eye.
Laura and I.
Charity and Mary.
Melissa and I.

Here are a few videos of the festival... MAKE SURE TO WATCH THEM!!

I love learning about other cultures and religions and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. I think a lot of times people fear things they don't understand, and some of the time they don't want to take the time to understand because they have already made their own assumptions. If we would just take the time to get to know people and learn about what they believe and where they are coming from, we will realize that despite our differences, we have a lot in common. We are all human and we all share this world.

Going to this festival really opened up my eyes and made me realize even more that we are all in this together and despite our differences, we need to love and take care of each other. It doesn't matter where you come from, what you believe in or what color your skin is: we are all alike in some way or another. 

This festival was all about bringing people from all different backgrounds together to celebrate something we can all relate to. Nobody cared if you were Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or any other religion and it honestly gave me hope that someday we can all put our differences aside and learn to finally get along and learn to live together peacefully. 

Needless to say, I am making the Festival of Colors an annual tradition from here on out. It was honestly one of the greatest things I have ever had the chance to be a part of and I can't wait to go again next year.  

If you ever have the chance to go to this festival DO IT! Just be prepared to get super messy and sneeze out rainbows for a few days after. I promise you won't ever regret it!


  1. This is my favorite post of yours so far. What an amazing and fun thing to participate in. We all ARE in this together, and this festival seems to show that. If I ever get the opportunity I will def attend. Your pictures were great too.

  2. That looks so amazing! I'd love to do that someday!

  3. wow I am soooo jealous , looked like a good day out (: !

  4. Fun! :-) I really need to go again, I've only been once. And that was quite a while ago....

  5. I'm so jealous you got to go! Last year I got stuck in traffic just coming from Provo and didn't make it. It was ridiculous! I wasn't able to go this year, so hopefully next year. Glad you could make it!


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