The Color of One
Our fabulous intern Nidhi Reddy caught a glimpse of students celebrating Holi on the UT campus, Sunday March 27, 2011, and had this to share.
At South Mall on The University of Texas at Austin campus, it was interesting to see the progression of the sea of people in white clothing standing around gradually change to an uninhibited party of different races, colors, and ethnicity drowned in bright yellow, magenta, and a vibrant green. Holi has always been my favorite holiday since I was a child. For one, it is a great excuse to throw things at people, and secondly it is such a lively and aesthetically exciting atmosphere.
Celebrating the triumph of good over evil and the end of winter, Holi is the Hindu festival of color. During this celebration, people come together and throw “rang”, a colorful powder and colored water, at strangers and friends.
While there are several religious significances to the holiday, the most popular story is the one of an evil king (Hiranyakashipu) and his son, Prahlad who was very devoted to Vishnu. The evil king forbade Prahlad to pray to him and challenged him to sit in a pyre along with the king’s sister Holika, who was said to be immune to fire. However, in the end Prahlad prayed to Vishnu and was saved while Holika was burned, which is why the holiday usually has a giant bonfire to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
In an alternate story, the god Krishna complains to his mother about his dark skin in comparison to his wife’s fair skin. In order to please him, she tells Krishna to put color on Radha’s skin which explains the use of color in Holi.
We hope you enjoy this photofilm of students celebrating Holi at UT Austin.