Saturday, March 22, 2014

Holi Festival: Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Holi Festival is uniquely characterized by the throwing and applying of colored powder or gulal. Hundreds of people gather on the streets to throw colored powder, play instruments, dance, and participate in merrymaking activities. Because of its popularity, Holi is celebrated in more than 20 countries across five continents - Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America.

A spring festival, the bright colors of Holi mimic nature’s vibrant display. The color play is also a commemoration of the great love of Krishna and Radha, hence Holi is sometimes known as the Festival of Love. Young Krishna, with his dark complexion, applied color on fair-skinned Radha to make her look like him.

For the 2nd year in a row, Asia Society Philippines, together with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce, SingIndia Music of the Soul, and Indian Ladies Club brought the Holi experience to Manila last March 16, 2014 at SM Mall of Asia by the Bay.

The Holi Festival was an event full of dancing, happiness, and of course, color. Indians and Filipinos alike celebrated the Festival of Colors which promotes unity and harmony among people.

Aside from the color play, Holi goers in Manila had a non-stop show featuring Bhangra, Bollywood, and Belly dancers, various singing acts, drummers, and a live DJ from 4:00-8:00PM. There were also games, Indian food booths, and the opportunity to sample traditional Holi delicacies such as thandai.

The throwing of gulal up in the air and at each other symbolizes friendship, unity, and a sense of revelry. During Holi, there is no distinction between age, race or class. Enemies, friends, and strangers alike come together to celebrate this joyous festival.

A common saying heard during Holi is “Bura na Mano, Holi hai!” (Don’t feel offended, it’s Holi!).

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