for The Washington Post on April 11, 2013
(Photos by HD Chan.)
It’s not every day that a stranger says you’d look good in pink and douses you in colored powder. But at last Saturday’s Holi celebration at the Hare Krishna temple in Potomac, this spontaneous act was in no short supply.
It was the temple’s fourth annual Holi festival, a Hindu celebration of spring’s arrival primarily recognized in India and Nepal. But Holi festivals are also held worldwide, as Hindus and non-Hindus gather every year to hold the boisterous, family-friendly celebrations.
Dancing, snacks and juices, bonfires, and colored powder tosses are staples at Holi festivals and were all highlights of the five-hour celebration, sponsored by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Holi festivals are also known to attract large crowds; this year, almost 3,000 people attended the society’s festival.
“It’s a wild and fun cultural event that’s focused on spiritually uplifting themes, amazing colors, exotic music and some of the best food you’ve ever tasted,” said Anuttama Dasa, 58, who has been attending since the temple opened in 1975. “And it’s literally for people of all ages.”
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/hindu-spring-festivals-increase-in-popularity-and-welcome-non-hindus/2013/04/05/d4828e00-9bf4-11e2-9a79-eb5280c81c63_story.html