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March 4, 2009 > Fun with colors

Fun with colors

By Meenu Gupta

Celebrate this Holi with Bay Area Youth Vaishnav Parivar (BAYVP), your family and friends. "We have planned three cultural events for this occasion, two out of which are purely filled with fun and spirit" said Mruduta Mervana, member of the organization.

The first event, on Tuesday, March 10, is the lighting of the fire (pradeepan) and performing pooja (prayers) performed on the actual day of Holi. Please bring coconut, colors (gulal), dry fruits as offerings to the holy fire. "The second event, in the morning on March 15, is religious where explanation of the importance of Holi in our culture and why and how the Vaishnav sect celebrates it, is covered" she said.

Boxed lunch with gulal will be available from 1:30 p.m. onwards for a donation of $5.00. On the same day in the afternoon, people will color each other while enjoying food, music, and dancing. "The celebration is purely fun filled in which around 500-600 people have been participating in the past," said Mervana. No water color paint is allowed.

The third event, on Saturday, March 21, is the Dandiya and Garba program for people to dance with abandon. The first 100 tickets bought online or from the temple will get one free pair of dandiyas. A maximum of two pairs per group or family. Holi Garba and Raas (Dance) will take place at the Centerville Junior High School gymnasium, 37720 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, at 8 p.m.

For more information contact Vipul Juthani (650) 580-2443 or and Ambrish Damani at or (412) 983-2280. Snacks and drinks will be sold during the event. Tickets can be bought at the temple or online at

BAYVP is a Milpitas based non-profit organization. In 2008, the organization acquired their own facility, Shreemaya Krishnadham, in Milpitas. "We encourage all community members to participate in all celebrations" said Jogen Shah, BAYVP President. Holi, the vibrant spring festival, marks the spirit of rejuvenation and a new beginning with the start of the new season.

"It is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Hindu festival," Shah said. It is an occasion that brings in joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance with lots of bright colors. The Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. The Holi celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the eve of Holi. On the following day, called Dhuleti, people rub gulal, which is brightly colored powder, on each others' faces and cheer up.

Numerous legends are associated with Holi celebration which makes the festival more exuberant and vivid. But the most prominent story regarding Holi is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. Hiranyakshyap, a powerful king declared himself a god and expected his people to worship him as such. To his great anger his son, Prahlad, chose to worship Lord Vishnu instead. Hiranyakshyap asked his sister Holika, who enjoyed supernatural protection from fire, to walk into the flames carrying Prahlad. Prahlad's devotion to the god saved him and instead Holika lost her protection and was burned for her evil desires.

Holi celebration
Tuesday, March 10
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Shreemaya Krishnadham
25 Corning Ave., Milpitas
(408) 586-0006

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