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The Festival of Colors: ICC, HSA and SSA Host NHP's First Holi Celebration

By Janvi Acharya and Linda Cheung

On Friday, April 5, NHP’s International Culture Club, Hindu Student Association and Sikh Student Association hosted Holi for the first time. Holi is a festival in March that is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs and is widely known as the Festival of Colors. Holi marks the beginning of spring, and people celebrate the victory of good over evil by spraying each other with colorful powders, sharing sweets and spending time with friends and family. Many also light a bonfire to commemorate the start of this festival.

“The most common belief is that in olden times, Lord Krishna was in love with this girl, a milkmaid called Radha,” HSA Vice-President Oishik Saha said. “He was very insecure about how he looked, in order to make himself feel better, when they were playing a tag game, he threw some color at Radha to kind of match how they looked. That’s how Holi kind of originated, ever since they’ve done that, we’ve been doing that too.”

Source by Linda Cheung

Seniors Kanav Dani and Arav Singh play a song-guessing game of popular Bollywood songs.

The event started off with a music-themed challenge. People were split into three groups and tried guessing popular songs from Bollywood, a form of Indian cinema. After the song-guessing challenge, students walked outside to throw colorful powders at each other. Students had a ton of fun pelting their friends with colors and partaking in this festival together. Next, Gladiators played several rounds of tug-of-war, which was followed by food and drinks. 

“Since it is my first time attending a Holi event, I am mainly excited to throw colors at my friends,” junior Katelyn Vadakkan said.

Source by Linda Cheung

NHP ICC, HSA and SSA officers celebrate the product of weeks of preparation for the event.

Preparation for the event involved weeks of planning, and even finding supplies from outside of the country. ICC, HSA and SSA spent the most time preparing in the two weeks leading up to the event, making ziplock bags of colored powder and gathering food and drinks for everyone in attendance.

“We thought that the culture of India needed to be expressed in our school more because we haven’t had that many cultural events,” SSA Secretary Angeet Kaur said. “We included something that we know is important and vital to the culture and shared it with the school.”

Source by Linda Cheung

Holi serves as an opportunity to create community and have fun with others.

“When we started our club, we basically kind of planned out the whole year,” ICC co-President Aparna Shibu said. “So we did have Holi there, and I know our school has never done Holi, so we did have to inquire and see if we could actually do it and how we can do it. So we did get permission, but there was a lot of preparation in terms of getting the color, especially in America, so we had some people go to India and get stuff. Everything else was more or less done in two weeks, getting everyone active, throwing colors at each other, but there was definitely a lot of work put into this and we’re happy it was successful and everyone had a great time.” 

Source by Linda Cheung

Students, including senior Kanav Dani, had a ton of fun pelting their friends with colors and partaking in this festival together.

Ultimately, many consider NHP’s first Holi event to be a success, with many students in attendance and lots of student interest and involvement. Many feel that the weeks of preparation in anticipation of a successful Holi celebration was worth it, and others feel this event will help facilitate future Holi events in the coming years at NHP. 

“The festival of Holi has different origins for different communities in Hinduism itself,” Ms. Bansal said. “The common theme being ‘Celebration of new life/things with your loved ones’. It marks the beginning of spring and harvest season, and the victory of good over evil. The vibrant colors bring joy, laughter, and a sense of belonging as everyone comes together to play with colors. As we are a diverse community at NHP, it is the perfect opportunity for everyone to get together and embrace the cultural celebrations.”


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