Current Events
  • May 22Pop Concerts
  • May 24InDesign Fashion Show
  • May 25Senior Prom
  • May 27Memorial Day
  • Jun 6Last Day of School
The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

Support student journalism and subscribe to the Epic's print publication here.

Adding a little color with Holi

Celebrations of Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, have been organized across the Bay Area over the last few years, but through the efforts of many students and staff members, ASB was able to bring this vibrant experience to Lynbrook’s parking lot. On Friday, March 29, ASB organized the first school-sanctioned celebration of Holi.

“We wanted to showcase a different side of India’s culture because there’s always been a focus on Diwali, but there is so much more to South Asian traditions than the festival of lights,” freshman NiharikaRamanathan said. “Hopefully this can be continued into future years because Holi is a really fun way to share our culture with the rest of the school while bringing the entire community together.”

Holi, a celebration of the coming of spring and the triumph of good over evil, has been celebrated in South Asia for centuries, but recent exposure to the beautiful cultures of India and the growing influence of South Asians in America has allowed it to gain traction in the Bay Area. Since the fourth century, the story of Holika, a character from Hindu mythology, plotting to kill Prahlada with a bonfire has taught generations about the consequences of malicious behavior and the inevitable victory of the pure-hearted. Prahlada was a committed follower of Lord Vishnu, a preacher of benevolence and righteousness, and refused to worship his father, the demon king Hiranyakashipu. Enraged by this, Hiranyakashipu recruited his sister, Holika, to carry out the murder of his son. As Holika was immune to fire, she attempted to lure Prahlada to walk into a bonfire and burn, but Prahlada was protected by Lord Vishnu and Holika was burnt alive instead. 

Traditionally, participants light a bonfire and perform rituals to remind themselves why they celebrate Holi, blessing everyone who participates in the event with the strength and intelligence to make the right choices. The colored powder is thrown to wish good luck with the new beginning to one another. Water, a more recent addition, adds to the fun of the festival and makes it easier to play safely while keeping the streets clean. 

Due to budgetary limitations and safety regulations, Lynbrook focused on the main tradition of playing with colors. Junior Aaditya Jain and  Ramanathan of ASB Public Relations collaborated with school administrators to make this event a reality. 

“We had to find a way to balance the students’ enjoyment with celebrating Indian culture inside our limitations and keeping safety at the forefront of our priorities,” Ramanathan said. “There were so many elements and factors to consider but with some help from alumni and staff we tackled all the logistics and brought the festival of Holi to Lynbrook.” 

While they had initially considered making the event open to the community, they decided to start with just Lynbrook students as it was the school’s first time hosting an event like this. The waiver was made a requirement for attendees to keep students accountable for their safety and a first aid station as well as staff volunteers were arranged. They also had to get enough color and wet wipes and organize their collaboration with Lynbrook’s American Indian Student Association to sell food at the event. 

“It took some convincing to get me to join, but running around with your friends covered in color is a one-of-a-kind experience that I’m thankful I took the risk to try,” junior Nina Pan said. “I can definitely see myself playing again in the future, hopefully with water and other aspects of the celebration.”

In the hours leading up to the event, the weather became rainy and overcast. The event carried on as per usual, but all performances were canceled and many students who had filled out the guest waiver did not attend the event due to the wet and cold conditions. 

“I would still consider the event a success,” Ramanathan said. “Despite the unforeseen weather and last-minute changes to our plan, we still had good turnout and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Vidushi Upadhyay
Vidushi Upadhyay, Staffer
(she/her) Vidushi loves being a part of the Epic and is excited to write movie reviews this year! She's a dedicated swimmer and loves dancing for the school team. In her free time, she obsesses over Formula One and her favorite TV show at the time.

Comments (0)

All the Epic Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *