Holi Celebrations Strengthen Community With a Festival of Colors


Tara Kurkal

People gather around as dancers prepare to perform modern Bollywood dances. Community members gathered to celebrate Holi on Saturday, March 25. “The experience was so nice just being able to dance with people that I already considered my friends,” Max Bradford ’25 said.

Students and families from around the RRISD community gathered to celebrate Holi on Saturday, March 25 at Elizabeth Milburn Park. 

The Hindu festival of colors is a religious holiday that celebrates good over evil. It is celebrated in a two day period on March 7 and 8. Holika Dahan, also known as “little holi,” is the first day when religious practices take place. The big tradition on this day is burning a bonfire as a symbol of eliminating evil. 

On Holi, the second day of festivities, the powdered color throwing begins. Playing Holi is the part of the celebration that is less religious and more focused on being joyful and the approach of Spring. 

“I like enjoying [the celebration] with others, and meeting people is really easy because you just throw color on them and then you have a new friend,” Lasya Adivi ‘23 said. 

The event had trays of food including shahi paneer, rajma, pav bhaji, samosas, cholay, and homemade Indian ice cream by Chasnee n’ Cream. 

“The food was fantastic and the guava ice cream had a unique flavor with the salt and paprika,” Max Bradford ‘25. 

Junoon Dance Austin took the stage with a self-choreographed dance to the song “Naatu Naatu” by Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj. The group ended by dancing to “OH Ho Ho Ho” by Ikka Singh and Sukhbir Randhawa and invited the crowd to join in.  

“The experience was so nice being able to dance with people,” Bradford said. “Everyone was so inclusive and happy and the energy was so positive and joyous.” 

The event finished off with a Rain Dance that signifies washing away the evil. Everyone played Holi and danced to the music while water rained down on them. 

“The Rain Dance was exciting and cooling,” Bradford said. “Even though I got sprayed in the face multiple times, it was still very fun.”