The Hinman College Quad got colorful on Saturday afternoon as students came together to observe Holi, an Indian festival that marks farmers’ celebration of the harvest.
Traditionally, Holi is celebrated by people throwing colored powder at each other. For the campus event, called the Festival of Colors, the Hindu Student Council (HSC) and the Interfaith Council (IFC) also included the use of water balloons “because it’s just fun,” according to Priya Chavan, HSC multicultural chair and a sophomore majoring in biology.
Chavan said that Holi is now widely observed here in the United States.
“It’s gotten so big at colleges and universities, even bigger than in India,” Chavan said.
Although HSC celebrates Holi every year, this was the first time it teamed up with IFC to collaborate on the event.
“The event came together after IFC talked to us about wanting to collaborate on Holi,” said Gauravi Patil, president of HSC and a sophomore majoring in integrative neuroscience. “We held a meeting and then all decided that it would be a great idea to team up. HSC already had bought the supplies for Holi, IFC bought the refreshments, helped with the water balloons and we planned out how we were going to play out the festival together.”
This year, about 50 students attended. Participants chose from two different stations where powder and water balloons were set up for throwing at fellow participants.
Patil said she thought the event was a success and Chavan agreed.
“It was so great seeing many different demographics here,” Chavan said. “People who don’t even know what Holi is came to support and participate.”
Jeanette Russo, a junior majoring in psychology, said she enjoyed participating.
“Holi was such a fun celebration and one of the biggest highlights of my semester,” Russo said. “There’s no better way to relieve stress from finals than a water balloon fight with friends and being covered in paint from head to toe.”
Shreyans Sanghvi, a sophomore majoring in integrative neuroscience, said he would love to see more student organizations join HSC for the event in the future.
“Despite it being an Indian event, we loved the amount of diversity at today’s event,” Sanghvi said. “It’s a lot of fun and we look forward to having a bigger and better Holi next year.”