Pittsburgh Holi Festival of Colors

Published On April 18, 2014 | By Elisabeth Petras | Community

holi fest 2Spring has sprung and with it comes new leaves on the trees, flowers across the ground, and warmer air to brighten up our lives. In India they celebrate the coming of spring by throwing colors at one another to spread energy and peace. What started out as a Indian festival to remember when Lord Krishna threw colors on His devotees has expanded to be celebrated worldwide. Since anything goes at this exuberant festival, it has broken down the traditional barriers between races, genders, and castes. In America, we’ve modernized the traditional Holi Fest into a Festival of Colors, and the “World’s Happiest Event” comes to Pittsburgh on Saturday April 19 at Flagstaff Hill in Oakland. The family-friendly color sharing lasts from 11am to 6pm and will include music, dancing and vegetarian food.

While spreading the joy of color, and promoting love, friendship, and unity, festivalgoers can enjoy the musical styling of seven different acts. Local rapper and activist Kellee Maize was deeply impacted by her recent humanitarian work in Nepal and is excited to share her message of human rights, love, and unity during this joyful celebration. In addition to Kellee’s uplifting hip hop, there will be mantra music and kirtan from Jai Krishna Das and the Ananda Groove, the KirtaniyasNamrock and Srikalogy. Other performances include Atma & Bhangra Yoga, and Lokah Bhakti & The Bhakti Dance. To round out this unique experience you can purchase food around the festival for delicious vegetarian feasting.

It’s free to attend, but you’re encouraged to purchase color packs to partake in the festivities. You can purchase five color packets for $20, or for an extra $15 you also receive a festival t-shirt and a dusk mask. You can reserve your color packets online and/or purchase them at the door. Every hour on the hour there will be group color throws of organic color powder. Dust masks can be purchased separately for $2 and are urged for children and those with respiratory problems. By the end of the day your entire body, hair, face and clothes will be covered in a vibrant rainbow of color. Be careful though, unless you want to spread the color into your car on your drive home, bring a change of clothes and a bag to store your colored garments.

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