The Holi Festival of Colors is a Spring Religious Festival for the Hindus, but anyone and everyone is invited to come and participate in celebrating the beginning of Spring. Holi Festival is celebrated at the end of the winter season. At the festival it is tradition to throw colored chalk in the air, resembling the life and colors that begin to bloom in the Springtime.
At the Holi Festival they also celebrate variety and diversity. What if everyone in the world was a carbon-copy of us? What if we all looked the same, dressed the same, had the same social status, spoke the same, and were completely and totally the same? Life would be ridiculously boring. The world is so exciting because of all the different cultures and people who live in it. So we should embrace the diversity in the world and in our lives amongst the people we meet daily. It's okay to be different.
A huge festival is thrown every year at the temple in Spanish Fork. Last year Brittany and I went to the festival. We had so much fun at the festival last year that we promised each other we would go again this year.
This past weekend Brittany, Elise Vander Does and I went to the Holi Festival of Colors 2011! We drove to my home in Riverton on Friday night. On Saturday we woke up bright and early and drove to Spanish Fork for the festival! We made a stop in Provo to pick up some of Elise's friends who are students at BYU.
We had a blast at the festival! The people in our group were Brittany, Elise, Taylor Harrison, Tyler Chancellor, Colton Grange, Kenneth O' Donnell and myself. It was such a fun group! We arrived at the festival grounds at around ten thirty in the morning. We walked up to the temple to by chalk powder. And then we let the good times begin! :)
(This is our "Before" picture)
People at the festival throw chalk constantly throughout the day, but every two hours they have a countdown and everyone throws their colors at the same time... they count from 10 down to 1. And the affect is amazing. It looks something like this:
I was in the middle of that! Pretty.
Google photo of the cloud :)
So we threw some of our chalk at each other and waited for the countdown to begin. During the two hours between each countdown they have a live Hindu band, booths with Hindu paraphernalia that you can purchase, and other entertainment. This year because of the weather there were also mudslide races... I opted out of that game ;) I wanted to be pretty with colors, not muddy and wet and brown. But the crowds were HUGE, and the fun was nonstop!
Overlooking all the festival-goers
Finally the leader on the stage was getting ready for the first countdown of the day. He set a few rules, and highly encouraged chalk-throwing, dancing, and crowd-surfing. Then the countdown began and the colors went flying! Throughout the day we got more and more colorful.
Before the first countdown
After the first countdown
Partyin' with the crowd!
I ran into a few friends while I was there!
Me and Tom Nelson
For the first countdown of the day we timidly hung around the edge of 'the cloud' and threw our chalk. After the first countdown we braved the crowd of people and got right into the thick of things! It was awesome :)
Being with four freshman guys from BYU, you can only imagine some of the crazy things they wanted to try. Soon enough, they were trying to persuade Elise to surf the crowd. When she said no (smart girl), they started to persuade ME to surf the crowd. What?! Lie down and trust a bunch of strangers to pass me over their heads and set me safely on the ground up at the front? No way.
But then I looked at Taylor and Colton, who had already been crowd surfing... and they had turned out just fine. There were four cute guys egging me on, I couldn't resist. So they hoisted me up above their heads (me squealing the whole time) and I was passed along the masses!
It was SO FUN!
Now if anyone knows me, I am usually not the girl to do something like crowd surfing. I like partyin' and I like dancing and having a good time... but I'm kind of a sissy. In fact, I would probably be about the last girl to go crowd surfing. So I'mma teeny bit proud of myself. (We can ignore the fact that they had to persuade me for a couple minutes to actually go for it) I went crowd surfing! It was like the scene at the end of Rat Race. ;) haha. Huzzah for being brave! Gotta live a little, right? ;) And no worries, I was passed all the way to the front and set safely on my feet.
I didn't get a shot of me surfing... kinda difficult.
So here's a visual, courtesy of Google ;)
After I was safely back on the ground I reconnected with my group and we danced and partied it up until the next countdown/cloud. We jammed out to the live band (The lyrics were only A LITTLE repetitive, Hare Krishna! being the theme of every. song.) and we watched out for incoming surfers.
Then it was time for the second countdown. The second cloud was INSANE because we were right in the middle of the crowd. When the guy on the mic said "ONE!" and the colors flew threw the air, my surroundings were all bright purple. I could barely see the outline of Colton and Brittany on either side of me. I was inhaling ridiculous amounts of powder as I screamed in excitement. But it was radical!! :)
Shortly after the second countdown Colton led our group out of the crowd, and after a couple of pictures we made our way back to the van for some lunch!
Girls after picture
Guys after picture
We popped open the back of the van and enjoyed rainbow cheese and turkey chalk sandwiches ;) But we had already inhaled so much chalk anyway, it didn't really make a difference. And of course, more pictures were taken at the van.
I don't know how Elise kept her teeth so white... :/
Second-time festival goers!
And then we drove back home! We stopped in Provo so the guys could shower, and then we all went to Riverton. The boys played Wii so the girls could get clean. We played Just Dance, had a little Mario Kart competition, and raved about the festival. Mom made us chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice, beans, and chips and salsa. After dinner we played BS (I took third!) and just had fun visiting and getting to know each other. After one last Mario Kart competition, it was back to Provo to drop the boys off at their apartment. After we said our goodbyes, we returned to Riverton and spent the night at Brittany's house.
All in all, it was a fabulous day! I think Festival of Colors is going to be a great tradition. I made new friends, got really messy, ate great food, went crowd surfing, made a lot of inside jokes, and I'm pretty sure I still have colors stained in my hair! But it was SO worth it.
Thanks everyone for making Festival of Colors 2011 a fun day! And Hare Krishna! ;)
Group picture after the second cloud. What a great time!