Vibrant colors erupted among Binghamton University students on Sunday, April 24 for a massive celebration of Holi, a Hindu holiday welcoming the upcoming spring season. The Newing College quad hosted the first in-person celebration since 2019 for students to gather and participate in Holi traditions.

Holi is a Hindu festival held each year at the end of winter, celebrating the beginning of spring and newfound life. This religious holiday honors Radha and Krishna, Hindu deities, and the eternal love that they have for each other. The festival, predominantly celebrated in India, has become a tradition around the world, as people come together to participate in the lively, engaging traditions of this holiday. Also known as the Festival of Colors, Holi is most well known for its splash of color, created by the many splashes of color upon all who engage in the event. A paint-throwing event was the highlight of the festival, as over 100 participants flung powdered paint at anyone in sight.

Sejal Luthra, the vice president of the Hindu Student Council (HSC) and a junior double-majoring in business administration and psychology, described the event.

“Holi is a Hindu holiday which celebrates the welcoming of spring,” Luthra said. “We celebrate it by throwing color because spring has a lot of colors that we didn’t have all winter and fall, so it brings back that happiness and color.”

Admission was a $5 donation if purchased before the event and $10 at the event. The HSC partnered with Delta Epsilon Psi, an “originally South-Asian-based” fraternity at BU according to the fraternity’s website, to donate all admissions to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The event raised about $3,000, an increase from their donation total in 2019. Not only that, but JDRF will also be matching and doubling the donation, resulting in a total donation of $9,000.

Anaanjan Talukdar, president of HSC and a senior majoring in economics, said preparing for this large event was a long process, requiring significant planning.

“We knew this was going to be work coming in,” Talukdar said. “This is our one big event for the semester, so we were already planning going into winter break for this. We knew that we were going to do this for the first time in three years, so expectations were riding high for us. We reached out to everyone who was there three years ago, people on the E-Board, alumni — and they all helped us out.”

All that planning and preparation paid off. Event organizers came to the field with hundreds of bags of powdered paint, water balloons and T-shirts, ready to be doused with color. Members of the HSC then had all attendees move to each of the four corners of the field where boxes of powdered paint sat. When they shouted for everyone to go, huge bursts of color erupted throughout the entire field. Students flung paint, hurled water balloons and filled the Newing College quad with multicolored chaos.

“I think the event went really well,” Luthra said. “People kept coming up to me and saying the event was so much fun, which I’m happy to hear because so much work and time was put into this event. My main goal was for everyone to have a good time.”

Although the event had been set back a few weekends due to unfavorable weather, the HSC still pulled the event together for BU students to enjoy. And, thankfully, Sunday brought beautiful, sunny weather for Holi. For students both of Hindu and non-Hindu faith, the event proved to be a success. Nothing but fun and laughter could be found on the field as paint-splattered students came together to celebrate.

Manjot Kaur, a freshman majoring in mathematics, attended the event and celebrated Holi for the first time.

“I thought it was really fun,” Kaur said. “The colors were fun. The water balloons were fun. It was just really nice being in all of the chaos of it, being in my friends’ faces and throwing color on them. I would 100 percent come again.”