Thousands gather across US to celebrate Hindu festival Holi

Thousands gather across US to celebrate Hindu festival Holi
via @theseaportnyc, CBS News
Michelle De Pacina
19 days ago
Holi, a Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, has united diverse crowds across major U.S. cities over the weekend. 
Key points:
  • Cities like New York, Chicago and San Diego experienced vibrant and colorful celebrations as thousands of people came together to commemorate the Hindu festival of colors, which typically marks the beginning of spring.
The details:
  • In New York City, thousands gathered at The Seaport at Pier 17 on Sunday to enjoy dance performances and throw colored powders symbolizing the shedding of winter’s gloom and the embrace of spring’s fresh start. 
  • “It’s like letting go of all your inhibitions and just starting fresh and enjoying life,” Amu Sehgal, founder of The Culture Tree, the organization behind the event, told CBS News.
  • On Saturday, Chicagoans also gathered at Navy Pier to celebrate Holi with live DJs and Bollywood dancers. The celebration, which has been held at Navy Pier since 2018, typically gathers 4,000 to 5,000 people. Organizers emphasized the importance of cultural understanding, with Navy Pier’s director of programming and production, Dylan Hankey, describing the event as a celebration of love, spring, friendship and unity.
  • Similarly, San Diego residents enjoyed kids’ performances, lively music and Indian food at the Hourglass Community Park for a Holi event organized by CRY America – San Diego Action Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring basic rights to underprivileged children.
About Holi:
  • Holi, which falls on March 25 this year, celebrates the eternal love between the deities Radha and Krishna, who was cursed by a demon to have blue skin. Krishna, curious about his love interest Radha’s different skin color, playfully painted her face with colors, so they could look alike. This has led to the tradition of applying vibrant hues during Holi festivities.
  • Holi, also known as the “Festival of Colors” or “Festival of Love,” is also a time for forgiveness, reconciliation and the renewal of relationships. It commemorates the victory of deity Vishnu over the demon Hiranyakashipu, hence the celebration of good over evil and the arrival of spring. 
  • The Hindu festival is most widely celebrated in India and Nepal, where celebrations typically come with a ritual bonfire, food, music, dancing and street festivities that include playing with water guns and colored powder. 
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