I celebrated my birthday with lots of colors, fun, hugs, Indian food, and music at the Color Festival on March 29 in Spanish Fork. I am so happy that I did. This was one of the best festivals I ever attended. And, my kids loved it.
According to Fox News 70K people were expected to attend the two-day Holi color festival in Spanish Fork, Utah, and tens of thousands showed up on Saturday.
It was crazy crowded, but incredible peaceful and beautiful.
The Holi Color Festival is based on ancient Indian tradition. The arrival of the spring is celebrated with warmth and embrace. People are dancing and throwing colors at each other. Read more about Holika, Hiranya Kaship, Lord Vishnu and the small boy Prahlad on festivalofcolorsusa.com.
But just like the majority of festival attendees who are not Hindus we were mostly attending for the fun and not out of religious reasons. Growing up in an Orphanage in Europe I was always taught to embrace other cultures. Not to mention I am by nature a very curious person. It was so much fun to see a house of worship which isn’t Christian and young and old people (OK mostly college students) engaging in peace with each other without the aid of alcohol or drugs.
Cursing, moshing, fighting and drugs are forbidden at this event.
Even the temple priest Caru Das considers this Color Festival more like a rock concert then a religious event according to a recent article on philly.com .
As a Christian I contemplated briefly whether it is appropriate for me to not only attend this festival, but also to take my children. Das lifted my doubts in an older CNN interview posted to their website. According to him, there is something universal about people meeting peacefully in the same place, chanting the name of their God, but putting their cultural differences, doctrines, religions and worries aside by coming closer together.
The Color Festival in Spanish Fork is one of the original Holi festivals in the USA. Even so there is a Festival scheduled for Salt Lake City in May, I drove for two hours just to attend this one. I was excited by the cheerful colors of the crowd, the music and the people. But I was frightened for a little while, because I lost my youngest in the crowd. Thankfully she had a cell phone on her. Next year we will agree on a meeting-place beforehand.
As I posted my pictures to my facebook timeline, I was surprised by not only how happy we looked, but also by the positive responses we received for attending this beautiful festival. Even my daughters, who argue most of the time, seemed to get along for just a moment by the look of the pictures. There is even a smiling picture of me.
Peace is contagious. Colors make me happy. I think we’d better go to the Salt Lake City Color Festival too.