In India, citizens celebrate the arrival of Spring with the Holi Festival, a time where the people leave their worries & stresses at home to get happy with music and shower others with color. Traditionally, people celebrated with natural colors and traditional music, sometimes even including ritualistic effigy burnings. Today, the entire world has caught on with the Holi festival, and celebrate it 21st century style. Numerous 5K runs across the world incorporate color throws into their races, turning the intensity of a race into more of a “hurry to the next color” fun run. To partake in the shower of colors without the necessity of running, one must seek out an actual Holi celebration, and Southern Californians can find these festivals throughout Los Angeles County.
This Saturday afternoon, the 4th Annual Los Angeles Holi Festival of Colors returns to the fields of Excelsior High School in Norwalk. People of all ages and nationalities will gather on this day to dance and socialize without worrying about mundane activities like work or school. In essence, this festival strongly resembles Woodstock because of the friendliness of all attendees and the entrancing pop music. Admission only costs $5 and comes with free parking, but all guests can only use colors purchased within the festival. The organizers will also invite a few food trucks to keep guests fed. Those not wanting to stand in the crowd of people and colors can opt to join in the communal yoga sessions.
If you do go to a Holi festival or any color run, keep in mind the nature of color throws. Unless you have access to industrial-strength laundry machines, wear old clothes and old shoes – albeit the colors wash off, they tend to remain in nooks & crannies, especially in shoes. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, consider donning a dust mask. If your eyes get irritated easily, either wear sunglasses or goggles. Check the weather too – you may need to apply sunscreen. An important tip to remember – bring spare towels and keep them in your car. But most important of all – have fun and socialize with everyone. Holi comes once a year, so like New Year’s Eve, let loose and enjoy the day.