Festival of Colors: Holi

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By: Kathleen Woods


A battlefield of colorful smoke in various shades of a rainbow poof in the air. Screams of laughter and joy ring over the sound of music throughout the Kelly Commons. Participants rush to grab their next handful of powdery colored chalk to toss on the backs and faces of others. Leaving all coated in a splatter of colors.


Holi is a Hindu festival also known as, “The Festival of Colors,” which commemorates the start of spring and the end of winter.


It is a festival of love and coming together in harmony with others. During the festival, bags of chalk in various colors are passed out to participants. Once armed with their chalk, they can begin to toss the colorful bags at each other until completely covered in multiple colors.


Director of Assessment and Accreditation Yen To attended the festival with her family and thinks that it is a great event to attend on campus because it educates students and community about the Hindu culture.


“I think it’s just a really happy event to bring in the spring, and I like the idea that we get to see different nationalities on campus and the whole idea of the festival is love and forgiveness,” To said. “It’s just a really positive festival to bring my kids to and to celebrate with other people.”


This year the colorful chalk at Holi wasn’t the only Indian cultural experience provided by the Indian Student Association (ISA). Before the festival began, free food was offered to students and community to introduce them further into Indian culture.


Missouri Western senior, Indigo Gaydusek, talked about the different types of food she was able to eat during this event.


“There was this really spicy chicken, and then there was another fried food that had potatoes in it and curry,” Gaydusek said.


This annual event supports comradery with others and really brings the community to campus.


Missouri Western senior, Lisa Laurent, attended Holi with friends and looked forward to throwing colored chalk at her friends.


“It’s so pretty and colorful, and I’m here with my friends, so it’s a fun time,” Laurent said.


This is only the third year that the Holi Festival has been conducted on campus and students are eager for this festival to continue. Every year there is always a huge turn out for the community and students to engage with others, promote love and have a chance to get covered in colored chalk.


Gaydusek hopes that this event accomplishes a better understanding of the Indian culture.


“I hope this event makes people understand other people’s cultures,” Gaydusek said. “I don’t know a lot about the Indian culture, so it’s really cool to get to learn more.”


The Annual Holi Festival of Colors took place at Missouri Western Kelly Commons on Friday, April 19 from 3-6 p.m. Everyone was invited to attend this event, and the first 50people were given free t-shirts.