OSWEGO, N.Y. — SUNY Oswego’s Hart Hall celebrated and shared the meaning of Holi with fellow students this April. Holi is a festival of colors that is usually celebrated in March to signify the start of spring. The festival originated from India and is celebrated around the world to spread happiness.
The event included an IST (Global Issues and Awareness) presentation of why Holi is celebrated and where the festival originated. After, students and faculty lined up to eat some traditional Indian food from nearby restaurants. After dinner, everyone went outside to play with the colors.
“It’s just such fun event but the meaning behind it is that good is always gonna empower over evil and that’s why this event should be celebrated because we need that happiness,” event coordinator Sushmita Banerjee said. “And a constant reminder of how everything will be fixed at the end of the day.”
This event originated from a story about a boy who believed in God although his father thought that only he should be worshiped not Lord Vishnu. The son tried to spread and promote religion within the people and they listened. His father saw that the people thought his son was better than him.
The father has a sister whose gift is that she can be burned alive and survive. The father said, “take my son into a fire and burn him a live because you will be untouched and he will burn.” The sister listened, since the son was protected by God he survived and the father’s sister died.
Now every March, Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way the sister was killed in the fire. The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a festival of colors.