Friday, March 30, 2012

Holi

Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as Festival of Colours.

The main day, Holi, is celebrated by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan. After doing holika dahan prayers are said and praise is offered. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion.

But... in Utah it is basically an excuse for Mormons to throw colored chalk at each other with a pretty temple in the background. Caitlin and I decided to join in this year and had a blast.

Here is what the chalk throwing looks like from a professional standpoint. Notice how the first three pictures are NOT mine.



When we went we really didn't know a lot of what took place at the festival, but they gave a little speech which provided a lot of information. They taught us some chants/prayers, had food booths set up, and I think there were actually some hindus there - but not enough to make an impression compared to the plethora of BYU students canvasing the temple grounds.

Caitlin and I had to get pictures with the body they were going to burn (we didn't stay for the burning, but thought that would be another fascinating element of the religious festival).

We got covered in chalk, chanted, danced in some weird circle dance thing inside the temple, and inhaled enough chalk to last a lifetime.


After spending about 2 hours at the festival we decided it was time to go home and get clean. EVERYTHING was covered in chalk powder. Luckily it came off easily and we got some pretty sweet pictures.




Once we got into the car we realized we were dying from thirst and luckily there was a man selling water on the side of the road, so we bought a bottle and guzzled it down.
Next time we go we want to bring our kids. It would be so much fun to let kids get absolutely covered in colored chalk, and it would also be a great opportunity to teach them about another culture and religion. We give the day an A.

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