The thick smell of (free) Indian food lingers in the air and music reverberates across an open field. Vibrant colors shade the bright sun as clouds of dyed powder fly high into the air.
This lively atmosphere is unique to Holi, a Hindu festival celebrated mainly in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. Festive music, excited dance and the throwing of brightly colored powder highlight the traditional celebration of good over evil, winter’s end and the arrival of spring.
Following the world’s longest, snowiest and most miserable winter, this celebration of spring and life seemed incredibly appropriate. Rather than simply tossing around a Frisbee in the sun, Boston College students revitalized in the coming of spring through a cultural experience unlike any other.
The protocol to arrive “fashionably late” that marks most events on campus does not apply to Holi. Instead, students headed to Brighton Campus far before the 1 p.m. start time in order to take advantage of the free food and partake in the first round of powder throwing.
Buckets filled with the colorful powder were delivered to the field periodically throughout the course of the three-hour event. With each round of powder throwing, a mob scene unfolded as students sprinted to fill their cup with ammunition. Each student’s pristine white outfit was quickly stained with shades of neon orange, deep blue, vibrant pink and shocking yellow.
BC students are able to enjoy the Holi Festival annually due to the efforts and funding of the South Asian Student Association (SASA). In preparation for the day’s festivities, SASA students worked hard to coordinate usage of St. Clement's field, dye 330 pounds of flour and recruit DJ services.
Electronic State of Mind (ESM), Boston College’s electronic music club, served as the DJ for this year’s event. During the lull between rounds of powder throwing, students formed into a semblance of a mosh-pit and danced along to ESM’s lively playlist.
"Holi has once again shown that a wide array of students are interested in other cultures," Jack Januszewski, A&S ’17, commented. "We at ESM love Holi because of its energy. SASA always brings it and we try to match it before giving it back to the crowd."
The energizing music was the perfect touch to make the day’s cultural event an outstanding success. Falling right before Marathon Monday, the Holi Festival left students brightly colored and ready to keep celebrating during the upcoming holiday.