Holi: Festival of colors


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

Nepalese students play Holi in front of the Pennington Student Activity Center. Holi is a festival of colors celebrated in South Asian countries like Nepal and India. Nepalese Students Association at Southeastern organizes Holi annually during spring semester.

A group of international students are bringing the colors and traditions of the Holi Festival to the university.

The Nepalese Student Association at Southeastern is hosting a celebration in honor of the Holi Festival on Saturday, March 7. Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and the office of Multicultural and International Student Affairs, the event will take place at the Pennington Student Activity Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Also known as the “Festival of Colors,” Holi is traditionally celebrated at the end of winter and is preceded by Holika Dahan, or the burning of bonfires, to cast away evil spirits.

Participants celebrate Holi by covering each other in colored powder known as gulal. The different colors have their own meanings: red means love and fertility, green means new beginnings, yellow means knowledge and learning and blue represents the Hindu God, Krishna.

Basanta Khakurel, a senior biology major, is the president of NSAS. He explained that the celebrations of Holi have changed to include water in addition to the colors.

“It’s basically the same pattern,” explained Khakurel. “Holi is like putting colors on each other, and it’s been upgraded to throwing water on each other too. It’s really fun. It’s like a victory over evil. It’s a long story from one of our epics.”

Khakurel mentioned that the event is open to all students.

“Anybody can come, and it is free,” stated Khakurel. “We’ll also have food and drinks. It’s about 80 to 100 people that come. We had that many people last year, and we’re expecting about the same.”

Aadhar Prasai, a junior computer science major, has participated in the Holi Festival in the past. Prasai shared that the importance of Holi lies in the friendships that form.

“It just brings everyone together, and it’s so much fun to play with the water and colors at the same time and have fun and make friends, so that’s why I think it’s important,” said Prasai.

Shawn Lama, a junior computer science major, explained that his favorite part of the Holi Festival is getting to celebrate with friends.

“My favorite part I think is the chance to play with colors, and throw colors to your friends and stuff like that,” shared Lama. “I think it’s just a celebration where we can meet our friends and hang out, and it’s fun. I get a chance to meet all my friends. We just get together and play Holi.”

The event will last from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with food being served at  1 p.m.