Students celebrate festival of colors

By Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams/Collegian
Michelle Williams/Collegian

Through a cloud of colorful dust at Hampshire College, students could be seen throwing, smearing and splashing bright powders on each other in celebration of Holi.

Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is a traditional holiday that welcomes the arrival of spring and anticipates of a good harvest for the season.

The holiday is celebrated with music, dancing and the custom of throwing bright powders and shooting colorful waters at other participants.

The powders, put in metal containers for quick grabbing and throwing, were in vibrant colors like chartreuse, lavender and magenta.

The free event was held on the library lawn of Hampshire College Thursday afternoon and featured Indian and Pakistani dishes from local restaurant The Garden, in Agawam, which came with a warning.

“This dish is very spicy,” said Syma Sheikh, pointing at a vegetarian Indian dish. Sheikh is the intercultural community advisor for the Spiritual Life Center at Hampshire College, and was an organizer of the event.

The event was sponsored by the Spiritual Life Center that welcomed all to experience Holi.

“Everyone is welcome to enjoy this colorful festival and the Indian snacks,” as stated on the center’s website.

Dozens of students participated in the event, and left saturated in color and smiling.

“I thought it was so interesting,” said University of Massachusetts student Alina Gusev. “I’ve never been to an event like this before and I’m very glad I came today.” Gusev left the event covered a mix of yellow, purple, green and magenta paints.

Michelle Williams can be reached at [email protected]