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March 19, 2013 > Don't mind, it's Holi!

Don't mind, it's Holi!

By Sara Giusti
Photos By Courtesy of Shashi Desai, Dream Snaps

Spring is in the air, and it smells like gulal powder! Holi falls on Wednesday, March 27 this year. Also called The Festival of Colors, Holi is a Hindu holiday celebrated on the day after the full moon in the Hindu lunar calendar month of Phalgun, usually in late February or March. Holi is one of the most anticipated holidays, and not only for the good food. Gulal powder (perfumed colored powder) and colored water are tossed on anybody and everybody, regardless of class, age, gender or race. This is not only loads of fun, but a reaffirmation of universal sister-and- brotherhood. While people are covered head to toe in pink, yellow, orange, red and green hues, they celebrate the arrival of spring and say goodbye to winter. A proper celebration is full of food, drinks, dancing and music.

Holi also has mythical origins. One myth is that of Holika and Prahlad. King Hiranyakashipu demanded all worship him, but his son Prahlad worshiped Vishnu, the Hindu God, instead. Enraged, Hiranyakashipu ordered Holika to kill Prahlad by burning him, as she had the ability to be unharmed by fire. Unknown to her, this was only if she entered fire alone - she died, while Prahlad survived by chanting the name of Vishnu. Bonfires are lit to remember Holika and Prahlad during Holi celebrations.

Holi is a time of revelry, joy, fun, pranks, letting loose and having a blast. Many things once deemed offensive are now perfectly acceptable, like throwing bright pink powder on your grandmother, or playing pranks on your friends (saying, "Don't mind, it's Holi!" will get you out of sticky situations). Let the colors do the talking at these local Holi celebrations!

Rana Holi 2013
Saturday, Mar 23
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Softball Field at Cordoza Park
Kennedy Drive and N. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas
(408) 359-7262
http://rana.org/Holi.html
Tickets: $10 adults, $3 children 5 years or older

BAYVP Holikotsav (bonfire)
Tuesday, March 26
6 p.m. - 8 p.m., in the parking lot
Dhuleti (celebration with colors)
Saturday, Mar 30
11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Dolotsav
Sunday, March 31
3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
25 Corning Ave., Milpitas
(408) 586-0006
http://bayvp.org/program-activities/event-calendar/
Free

Holi Celebration with Gujarati Cultural Association
Saturday, Mar 30
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Lake Elizabeth Park (Lion 1 area)
40000 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont
gcbayarea@yahoo.com
www.gcbayarea.com

Holi Celebration at Fremont Hindu Temple
Sunday, Mar 31
11:30 a.m. onwards, in the parking lot
3676 Delaware Dr., Fremont
(510) 659-0655
http://www.fremonttemple.org/upcoming-events.php

Asha Stanford Holi
Saturday, Apr 6 - Sunday, Apr 7
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sandhill Fields
Oak Road, Stanford
Tickets: Online purchase only
Early Bird special (before March 23): $14 single day, $24 weekend pass
$16 general single day, $28 general weekend pass
www.ashanet.org/stanford/events/holi2013/
stanford.holi@ashanet.org

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