#NOCHELLA: How I Celebrated the HOLI Festival of Colors in NYC Instead

#NOCHELLA (NO PROBLEM).

pauljamesread_holi_festival_nyc.jpg

- I celebrated Phagwah Holi Festival in NYC.

Phagwah Holi Festival is the ritualistic Hindi Festival of Colors.


ma-52827.jpg

Krishna and Radha Celebrating the Holi Festival with Companions


India, Rajasthan, Marwar, circa 1750

 


THE COLORS OF HOLI ARE THROWN TO REPRESENT happiness, love, and the freedom to live vibrantly!

When I first heard of Holi, it was in when I was living in Paris. I would see a bunch of Facebook events with photos of smiling faces and a happy mess of hot pink, bright orange, neon green and yellow powders. I didn't know much of what was going on but I knew it must be something spontaneous and free-spirited to participate in. Over a year had passed and I never attended a holi (or holi inspirired) event. A friend of mine living in NYC told me about a Holi festival in Queens and I said, "LET'S CHECK IT OUT, I've always wanted to go but never have! Do we have to wear white here too?"

( Yes, it's recommended. )

It was at the festival where I truly learned more about the celebration. Being present in the experience first hand, I felt that I was able to grasp the true essence of Holi. Even as every experience is different, the theme and meaning behind the holiday remains a rich source of connection to ourselves and others.

Paul James Read,  adorned in the vibrant colors of Holi, contributes to the celebration with his own Green throwing powder.

Paul James Read, adorned in the vibrant colors of Holi, contributes to the celebration with his own Green throwing powder.

What is 'Holi'?

Holi is a religious ritual celebrated in the HIndu tradition. It is a celebration held every calendar year with the exact dates based on the cycle of the moon. It is usually celebrated during a full or a new moon, to honor the commencement of spring. Holi is considered to be one of the most anticipated and revered festivals celebrated by the Hindu communities all around the world. People gather together to playfully smear colored powder on the faces of friends, foes, perfect strangers, adults and children a-like. 

Legend of Lord Krishna is also associated with play with colors as the Lord started the tradition of play with colours by applying colour on his beloved Radha and other gopis. Gradually, the play gained popularity with the people and became a tradition.

There are also a few other legends associated with the festival - like the legend of Shiva and Kaamadeva and those of Ogress Dhundhi and Pootana. All depict triumph of good over evil - lending a philosophy to the festival.


TRY THIS HOLI RITUAL: Bhang Recipe on 4/20.

holi-festival.JPG

Holi has inspired similar festivals, events, and artistic expression in popular culture. Coldplay's video for Hymn for The Weekend evokes the colors, ritual and tradition of the Holi Festival.

Trevor, blessed in the Colors of Holi.

Trevor, blessed in the Colors of Holi.

 
holi-festival-queens-new-york-city.jpg

IT'S ALL PLAY HERE! A FATHER AND DAUGHTER CELEBRATE THEIR INNER CHILD AND GET WILD IN THEIR OWN UNIQUE "Holi STYLE" TOGETHER AT THE HOLI FESTIVAL IN QUEENS, NYC.

 
 
eye-joli-drawing.gif

 

(MORE TO KNOW)

THE LEGEND OF Krishna & Radha

festival-of-color-krishna-radha.jpg

"Young Krishna is known to be very playful and mischievous. The story goes that as a child, Krishna was extremely jealous of Radha's fair complexion since he himself was very dark. One day, Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about the injustice of nature which made Radha so fair and he so dark. To pacify the crying young Krishna, the doting mother asked him to go and colour Radha's face in whichever colour he wanted. In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna heeded the advice of mother Yashoda and applied colour on her beloved Radha's face; Making her one like himself. Well, there is also a legend to explain Krishna's dark complexion. It so happened that once a demon attempted to kill infant Krishna by giving him poisoned milk. Because of which Krishna turned blue. But Krishna did not die and the demon shriveled up into ashes.

The beautiful scene of Krishna's prank in which he played colour with Radha and other gopis has been made alive in myriad forms in a number of paintings and murals."

IMG_4808.JPG
Leo Henry  and  Tara Lynn Faith  playing with colors at Holi Festival in Queens.

Leo Henry and Tara Lynn Faith playing with colors at Holi Festival in Queens.

Krishna squirting coloured water at Radha.  Painting, Pahari School, early 19th century.

Krishna squirting coloured water at Radha. Painting, Pahari School, early 19th century.

 
eye-joli-drawing.gif
 

JOIN IN THE NEXT HOLI!

 
IMG_4634.jpg

- Celebration of Spring, culture and color -

This year I went to Holi at Smokey Oval Park with some friends to celebrate Spring, friendship, equality, organized by the people of the Caribbean that are Indian descendants.

The colored powders used in Holi represent happiness, love, and the freedom to live vibrantly.

Adults, children of all ages and families all come to the festival. Free event!!! just wear white because you’re going to get Phagwah’d (so make sure it’s also something you don’t mind getting color on.)  It happens every year but this year the date was Saturday April 14, 2018
| 95 Avenue 125th Street | Queens, NY 11419. (The most perfect spring day!)

52AFB07B-59BB-4F8C-A131-91413A684CED.JPG

 Vendor was selling simple and delicious food in exchange for donations (I also spotted some colored cotton candy, too).

holi-festival-phagwah-queens-newyork.JPG

Kesha + friends wearing Holi color on their uniforms while rocking the 3 most classic comfortable kicks.

Phagwah Holi
Queens, NYC.

 


 
 

explore something new every day

on DAILY RITUAL:


+ MORE OF THE LATEST+