The ancient Hindu festival Holi marked its colorful return to campus on April 9 on the UC Front Lawn after a two-year hiatus.
Holi, also known as the “festival of colors” or “festival of love,” signifies the coming of spring, victory of good over evil and a day to celebrate new beginnings, said Satyam Patel, ‘23, president of the South Asian Students Association.
The event kicked off with dance performances from LU Bhangra and Leela. Following the dances, there was a countdown to the highly-anticipated throwing of the colors, leaving participants coated from head to toe in an array of colored powder. For the rest of the event, participants socialized, danced and took pictures.
Due to COVID-19, this annual event has not happened since 2019. Patel said Holi allowed the Lehigh community a chance to feel connected again.
“At Lehigh, Holi is a way for people to get together and celebrate each other,” Patel said. “There’s a big divide between upper and lower classmen because in the last two years there were no events like these. This event is a way to bring the community together.”
Kedar Pansare, ‘23G, a member of the India Club, said Holi is not only a social event, but one that exposes students to cultural diversity.
“It’s important because everyone feels included,” Pansare said. “Everyone is involved in Indian culture – they get to know about stuff which they might not usually know, and that is such a great thing.”
Pansare said Holi originates from different ancient legends and is a two-day event in India.
She said the three clubs that organize the event: the South Asian Students Association, India Club and the Asian Cultural Society tried to make the event as authentic as possible.
Anousha Mehta, ‘24, a member of the South Asian Students Association, said it was nice to see the hard work of the involved clubs pay off. She said they have been planning Holi since last semester and started holding regular meetings in January to ensure the big event ran as smoothly as possible.
Mehta said she thought Holi was a success and that it was nice to see the Lehigh community engage in her culture.
“Being from a different culture, it’s nice to see parts of your culture being brought to life,” Mehta said. “Lehigh is not really full of minorities, so it’s nice to see other people being immersed into your culture.”