The weather may not say so, but the calendar says itâ€™s spring, and that means itâ€™s time for the ancient Hindu religious festival of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, on Saturday, March 31, at Vallabhdham Temple in Newington.
The festival includes a large â€śHolikaâ€ť bonfire and the playing with colors, a tradition recognized worldwide by Hindus and non-Hindus alike.
Participants celebrate by smearing one another with paint, and by throwing colored powder around. Itâ€™s all in the spirit of good humor, says Vallabhdham Temple founder Rajeev Desai.
â€śThe festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, the end of winter, and for many itâ€™s a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships,â€ť he said.
But itâ€™s not all just symbolic. Some claim that throwing colors benefits the human body.
â€śColors are said to have great impact on our body and our health,â€ť Desai says. â€śWestern physicians believe that for a healthy body, colors, too, have an important place besides the other vital elements. Deficiency of a particular body causes ailment, which can be cured only after supplementing the body with that particular color.â€ť
Traditional foods cooked by local devotees will be served at the Vallabhdham celebration. Hundreds of visitors are expected to take part. Desai says he hopes non-Hindu members of the community will join them, so the event will be open to the public.
â€śI want them to learn about our culture and why we celebrate this festival,â€ť he says. â€śA lot of people donâ€™t know the significance. The objective of Holi is to unite people of all cultures and walks of life to tke part in this colorful event to promote unity.â€ť
The Vallabhdham Temple is locatedd at 26 Church St., Newington.