Powdered colors were spread from one to another at the Child Rights and You Los Angeles Holi Festival on Saturday at Castaic Lake, celebrating the holiday and marking the start of spring.
“It’s a festival of colors and it celebrates the arrival of spring, and it also celebrates two Hindu gods,” said attendee Yashvee Vhandari.
Holi is one of the most significant festivals in Hinduism, celebrating gods Radha and Krishna.
In celebrating, attendees of the festival go around throwing, smearing and dusting others with powder colors. The powder colors are made from corn starch and organic coloring.
“We all try to wear white,” said attendee Avani Kanhyap. By wearing white, the colors can be seen more and worn with pride. No one at the festival shies away from getting covered with the colors.
Each color represents a different aspect of the festival, according to Vhandari: red symbolizes love and fertility, yellow is the color of turmeric (a powder native to India and significant in cuisine and culture), purple symbolizes royalty, and more.
“Sharing your love by throwing colors at each other, spreading those colors, it makes you feel more liberated, elevated in your own self and that’s what it means to spread happiness, you know, your life,” said Andy Das, a co-leader of the event.
Varnica Singh and Das, co-leaders of the event, took the festival and combined it with a cause that the proceeds could be donated to – Child Rights and You, CRY.
CRY America is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure underserved children can access and exercise their fundamental rights, with a focus on education, health, nutrition, safety, protection and child participation.
Singh and Das accredit much of the event’s possibilities to the volunteers.
“I’m experiencing this for the first time,” said volunteer Ivana Sason. “It seemed like a really fun event.”
This one festival was able to connect, as Das describes, a small community in the Santa Clarita Valley with one another.
“The one thing that connects with people, this festival is about joy, happiness, spreading love, so they all are connected so deeply that once we had found that this is going to happen in the right area, everybody just jumped on,” said Das of the event’s success.