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Holi celebrates spring with people of all colors

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A mother and child share a moment as they celebrate Holi in Foster City on March 10. As revelers throwed and smeared brightly colored powder onto each other, they commemorated the beginning of spring, the harvest, and the triumph of good versus evil.

A mother and child share a moment as they celebrate Holi in Foster City on March 10. As revelers throwed and smeared brightly colored powder onto each other, they commemorated the beginning of spring, the harvest, and the triumph of good versus evil.

Kimberly Mitchell

Kimberly Mitchell

A mother and child share a moment as they celebrate Holi in Foster City on March 10. As revelers throwed and smeared brightly colored powder onto each other, they commemorated the beginning of spring, the harvest, and the triumph of good versus evil.

Nisha Marino, Staff Writer

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A stranger runs up to you. They put their hand on your face, yell “Happy Holi!” and disappear into the crowd.

Though this may seem like a strange interaction, during Holi, it is to be expected.

Holi is a primarily Hindu holiday celebrated around the world in honor of the coming of spring. The main part of the celebration involves throwing brightly colored powder made with rice flour onto others. This year, Holi took place on the night of March 1 and the day of March 2.

For the past seven years, BayBasi has been hosting a Foster City Holi Festival in collaboration with Foster City Parks and Recreation. Due to the rain, this year’s festivities were not held on Holi weekend and instead took place on March 10.

Though the holiday is mainly celebrated by Hindu communities, Holi festivals can be found around the world. People without Hindu backgrounds come together to experience the culture. In Foster City, people of all ethnicities joined in the celebration.

“I don’t feel unwelcome at all,” said Ethan Parsonage, a white American who was attending the BayBasi event for the first time. “I love the spirit here, of strangers coming up to us and adding to the color and vice versa.”

Around the world, Hindus and non-Hindus alike celebrate Holi. Given the large Hindu population in India, its celebrations are much more extreme than those held anywhere else in the world.

“It’s definitely more authentic in India, but it’s also very rowdy,” said Kalagee Shah, who is of Indian descent. “American Holi festivities are friendlier and better to bring kids to.”

The Foster City Holi is a public event, but many people feel the publicity ruins the holiday and also host private celebrations.

“[Holi with strangers] destroys the significance of the holiday for me personally. I believe Holi should be celebrated with friends and family,” said Antara Sengupta, a sophomore whose family has been attending the BayBasi festival for six years. “I want to enjoy the springtime holiday, and I feel more comfortable spending it with people close to me.”

Others who also regularly celebrate Holi do not hold that same sentiment.

“I like [the Foster City Holi] because there are so many strangers,” said Ratesh Sisodiya, a festival attendee. “It’s nice to see so many people interested in and participating in the culture.”

Regardless of belief or background, every person at the Foster City Holi festival was active and engaged.

“I love this environment, it’s so beautiful and colorful,” said Sengupta. “Everyone is laughing and having a good time.”

Bollywood music played throughout the festival with the help of California's DJ PRECAUTION.
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About the Contributors
Nisha Marino, Staff Writer
Nisha Marino is a sophomore at Carlmont High School. She is captain of the Carlmont JV water polo team. In her free time, she enjoys reading and baking. @nmarino07 (Visited 5 times today)
Kimberly Mitchell, Staff Writer
Kimberly Mitchell is a sophomore at Carlmont High School. She enjoys going to the beach, petting dogs, and making puns. Twitter @Kim_mitchell (Visited 3 times today)
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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Holi celebrates spring with people of all colors