The festival of colors is an annual event that happens at the Palace of Gold. This event held in Moundsville, West Virginia, mimics and is a smaller-scale version of the color throws in India called “Holi”. Holi announces the coming of spring and the impending end of the winter months. This festival is celebrated with just as much merriment, love and excitement in small Indian villages as it is in metropolitan areas. It brings forth unity and harmony everywhere. The festival has been practiced in India for thousands of years and has grown and adapted to bring happiness to Western cultures as well. It is now celebrated all across the globe.
1. The Colors
The color throw is just as incredible to witness as it is to partake in. Every half an hour (at least at the color throw at The Palace) everyone congregates and tosses their powder as high as they can all together as a crowd. The air is filled with flying colors, the ground is no longer recognizable and instead a tie-dyed beautiful mess, everyone and everything is coated in layers of the powder.
2. The Music
At the event site, the stage is the main focus. Everyone gathers around it, dances around it and of course throws colors around it. Every year there is a lineup of talented local artists and color festival “celebrities” that play. These “celebrities” are simply artists who play at color throws all across the country. The music ranges from sweet, unheard finger-picked melodies to disco remixes that the DJ so graciously provides. The crowd lives for music. The colors are thrown in sync with the beats and keep the people thriving.
3. The Food
Since this festival originates from India, the cuisine is typically Indian. Tents can be found all across the festival site wafting smells of curry and samosas. Indian food is rich and flavorful. But, it can also be intimidating and very much so outside of many people’s comfort zones. The key to having fun at this festival is to put yourself out there and to leave all preconceived notions and fears behind. Try the food.
4. The People
You really never know who to expect to see when attending The Festival of colors. But that’s part of the fun! You have an incredible opportunity to meet vastly diverse individuals. The attendees range from hundreds of wildly excited college students to families in reverence of the religious and traditional significance of the festival. No matter who goes, the message is clear. Everyone is welcome.
5. The Message
While the main idea of the festival is to be blissful and enjoy yourself, there is a much more important overall theme. While everyone is having fun and distracted by the music, food and atmosphere, many fail to notice what is really going on around them. If you were to stand on the stage and look out at the crowd in the midst of the festivities, you might notice a change. Looking out into the crowd at the hundreds of faces you would not see a Hindu family or a group of college girls, but instead, see hundreds of faces all alike. These people arrived at the festival as very diverse strangers but left looking exactly same. Everyone is covered in the colored powder. This festival emphasizes unity and ignoring the differences. It brings complete strangers together and harmonizes them. This is the most important take-away point of the entire event.
Color Festivals are held all across the globe. For a complete listing of the festivals held in the United States visit http://www.