Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival marking the beginning of spring. There are several mythological stories related to the origin of the festival, but we know that the festival is celebrated with a variety of colours, water balloons and water guns. Traditionally, natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem and dhak are used with the consistancy of a dry powder or colourful chalk. Parties are organized and people dance to music and greet each other with the colours. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders, all religious (or non) denominations are welcome at this fun event. There are no prayers on this day, no sermons are said, with the sole aim to enjoy each other and have fun. As such, the festival has become quite popular; though initially celebrated only in South east Asia, in the last few decades it has spread to various parts across the globe.
UBC students celebrated Holi on March 22nd on McInnes field at the UBC Vancouver campus. Over 400 students and participants enjoyed the event on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The Pulp and Paper Center students and faculty were not left untouched by the event and many joined in for the party. The event lasted for more than 3 hours and was an amazing bonding event for all of us. The celebration will definitely remain in our memories for a long time and we will be eagerly looking forward to participating again next year.
Written by PPC graduate student, Fatehjit (Jit) Singh