Author: Viraj Paul
March and April mark a fun and energizing time for people across the world as Spring comes in and kicks winter out. We wait all winter long, like an annual tradition, dreaming of flowers blooming, the grass getting greener, warmer weather, and longer days … there is a lot to look forward to. And then, right as our springtime is upon us – it’s time for Holi! Though a moving target from year to year on the calendar, Holi is hitting us this year on March 20th.
What is Holi? At its roots, Holi is a festival that celebrates the start of Spring. It signifies the colors that arrive and the new season. Holi defines the victory of good versus evil and gives a reason to shower, literally with vibrant colors, your friends and family with happy wishes. Just as we have waged through the long, bitter and bland months of winter (after the Christmas cheer fades that is), we find a rebirth of energy, not only in our environment, but a rebirth of energy in our lives. Every person that celebrates Holi has their own personal reason to celebrate and their own tradition - whether it is purely religious, for fun, a chance to unify with friends and family, or somewhere in between. For me, Holi is a combination of it all, somehow all the above, somewhere in between, and somewhere more.
For as long as I can remember, my family and I have been celebrating Holi with some of our closest family friends. We go to a local park and color it with our excitement and screams. Tossing powdered colors at one another like we were kids again, running carefree in the crisp Spring weather without a care in the world. I have had my fair number of shirts marked and dyed by more colors that I can count. In a way, the celebration of colors that occurs during Holi is a Spring-time color filled game of tag. We are all “IT” and just keep wanting to play. What a great way to celebrate the new life that Spring brings us. When you walk away from the color celebrations of Holi, you walk away with the badge of honor that your hair is suddenly 4 colors and your clothes may be sentenced to endless rinse cycles.
Coming to Georgetown University 2 years ago as a student, I knew that there would be Holi celebrations. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in it. I was excited last Spring to see what my campus celebration would entail. Celebrating Holi with new friends was a new chapter in a tradition and holiday that had been a staple in my life for so long already. With amazing food, incredible fun, and learning new depths to the religious background of Holi, I came to appreciate Holi even more for its place in my own life. I felt at home and worry-free as I threw colors on my friends and on peers I had never met before.
Many of us celebrate Holi’s tradition of throwing colors at various community events spread out over the weeks of early Spring. My excitement continues to build for my Georgetown University community’s celebration in April - when my only concerns are what color I should throw on the person next to me and where I can shower so I don’t paint my apartment bathroom. Happy Holi!
Looking for the perfect Holi shirt? We got you covered!