Color Festival at Sri Sri Krishna Temple, Spanish Fork, Utah
Story and Photograph and vedio by Dan Abernathy
2018 Color Festival at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple
Clouds of chalk filled the skies turning into vanishing rainbows at the 2018 Color Festival at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Last weekend, the 24th and 25th of March, I was at the Color Festival in Spanish Fork Utah. The Color Festival is a Hindu festival that marks the arrival of spring. Known widely as the Festival of Color, it takes place over two days, and is a celebration of fertility, color, and love, as well as the triumph of good versus evil.
People take part in Holi all around the world, but it is celebrated the most in India and Nepal. It is known and acquired fame from the colored powders that end up coating all that are involved. But this is just one part of Holi, which is split into two events: Holika Dahan and Rangwali Holi. Holika Dahan takes place the night before Rangwali Holi. Wood and dung-cakes are burned in a symbolic pyre to signify good defeating evil (in Hindu Vedi scriptures, the God Vishnu helps burn the devil Holika to death).
The next morning, people gather in public spaces and take part in Rangwali Holi. This is a rowdy, though I believe it is done with a kind intent, affair where people chase each other around, throwing handfuls of colored powders (known as gulal) at one another.
Well over 20,000 people attended this year’s festival at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. This festival is the largest one in the United States, which I found to be slightly ironic, the largest Hindu celebration in a state, which is known as being the home of the LDS Church. I am also sure there were quite a few LDS people there.
Most who attend are not Hindu and know very little about the origin and meaning of the festival, they merely wanted to be caked with colorful chalk. Some even talked about it being BYU’s spring break. This whole event is done without any type of alcohol and drugs. I watched nothing but chalky smiles pass by and the people that I visited with were open and holding extremely high energy. They seemed to just want to live for the moment, dance and enjoy all aspects of the experience.
Put this festival on your calendar for 2019, as it’s a colorful way to bring in spring and keep an eye put for the Chool Bus and myself as I think there is a good chance I’ll be back next year.