By: AJ Crowell, Publisher, Dallas Yoga Magazine
The HOLI Festival of Colors was hosted by Vijay Warman and Mystic Mandala at Southfork Ranch on March 12th. It was an amazing experience with a fun filled day of music, color, food, vendors and new friends.
Many people do not know how deeply rooted the Festival of Colors tradition is in India. It is an ancient Hindi religious festival and is a celebration of spring and the new growth to come. It is said to celebrate the triumph of good over evil bringing forth happiness and emotions. Who could think of a better way to convey that message than by “painting” everyone with bright colors! The HOLI ritual is to throw and apply colored water and powder on friends, family and even strangers. During HOLI in India, the country is covered in vivacious colors of yellows, greens, blues, oranges, pinks, purples and reds. The colorful scene touches everyone’s heart.
This year’s HOLI Festival of Colors at Southfork Ranch was a celebration with positive energy and inclusiveness flowing through the air. The colder weather did not stop the festivities from starting on time at 11am and, by the end of the day, the sun was out and shining down on an array of brightly colored people covered in powder. Everyone was involved throwing the colors in the air creating huge clouds of beautiful colors. From a distance, all one could see were giant puffs of colors reaching into the sky and up into the heavens. People would welcome you by saying, “Happy HOLI!” and then gently stroke colors on your forehead, cheeks or neck. Sometimes people who were more jovial would throw the powdered colors on you while they smiled from ear to ear. The people of India really know how to have fun!
As if seeing the rainbow of the powdered colors wasn’t enough but the sweet smell of the powder filled the nostrils. The aroma made you feel like you standing front and center in New Delhi or Bangalore. The powder colors for the festival are called Gulal. They are often made from herbs, sandalwood powder and even rose leaves. The Green color is sometimes made with Henna leaves, spinach or coriander leaves and the red color is made with red sandalwood powder with vermillion or rose petals sometimes including beet root or hibiscus flowers. The Blue color is also made with hibiscus. The natural ingredients are why the powders turned Southfork into an aromoa therapy session.
The live DJ had beats that including spinning together American Hip Hop and tradition Indian music. It was so invigorating and made it impossible not to dance and jump up and down with everyone. The belly dancers are always a crowd favorite and looked beautiful in their traditional attire and danced with encouragement from the cheering crowd.
You can not have a HOLI Festival of Colors without Indian food. The food trucks were onsite for everyone to enjoy but they also had the food cooking in giant braziers so everyone could witness the vegetarian delectables being created right in front of you. The wonderment of watching the foods being fashioned added to the fan fare and when you finally received your plate and tasted it…you knew the wait and the preparation was well worth it.
If you have never attended a HOLI Festival of Colors, then you must add this event to next year’s calendar. Bring your family, friends and join in the merriment of the celebration. Come and paint the sky and everything else with magnificent colors of joy and bliss. It’s no surprise this party is often called the Festival of Love.
Vijay Warman you really know how to throw an incredible festival!
Mystic Mandalas future events can be found at www.mysticmandala.guru