As the world becomes more intertwined, we have the tremendous opportunity to take part in celebrations that aren’t originally our own. Europeans didn’t traditionally celebrate Halloween; now they dress up as ghosts and witches every October 31st. The Chinese New Year Festival is hosted by many countries around the world. Mexicans and Mallorcans do yoga and chant, and from Los Angeles to New York, folks fête Krampus, the European devil goat. In our eyes, adopting other cultures’ traditions is not cultural appropriation; it’s a way to respectfully and joyfully engage with another culture, much like we do with Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, coming to a city near you this spring!

 

Holi 1
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk Photography, Flickr

 

One of India’s oldest celebrations, this ancient Hindu festival signals the arrival of spring. Holi originated and is associated with Northern India, but it’s now celebrated worldwide. The festival invites people to laugh and be merry, love each other, let go of grievances and mend broken friendships, all in an incredible explosion of color. Holi starts with the Holika bonfire and continues with a wild party where people throw color at each other via water balloons and even whole buckets of colored solution. By the end of the morning, revelers are covered in vibrant hues.

 

Holi Festival of Colors in BerlinPhoto Credit: Holi Festival of Colours

 

In some areas of India, the festivities last one day and include singing, dancing, delicious food and drinks made with local herbs, while other parts celebrate for more than a week and include offerings and religious ceremonies. The most beautiful aspect of the festival is that during this one celebration, India’s strict caste system is thrown aside and all classes gather in celebration.

 

Holi Festival in UtahPhoto Credit: Holi in Utah, Wikipedia

 

Here in the U.S. you have several opportunities to celebrate the coming of spring or power of love, Holi-style:

Festival of Colors, Holi New York City
DJs, art, bands and beautiful party people.

Holi, Festival Of Colors in Los Angeles
Crafts, colors, yoga, live mantra bands, free hugs and “lotsa love.”

Holi One Chicago
DJs, art installations and performance pieces.

Holi DC
Dedicated to love via music, food and, of course, color.

Before you throw yourself into the colorful mix, we have two last parting words for you: wear white!

 

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