Sisi Yu / Sun Staff Photographer

Students throw colored powder at each other on the Arts Quad Saturday in celebration of Holi, the Hindu spring festival.

May 2, 2016

Arts Quad Explodes in Color for Annual Holi at Cornell

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The Arts Quad exploded with colored powder on Saturday as over 1,000 Cornellians participated in Holi, the Hindu spring “festival of colors.”

Hosted annually by the Cornell Hindu Student Council, Holi is the second largest outdoor event at Cornell after Slope Day, according to Samir Durvasula ’17, treasurer of Hindu Student Council.

Durvasula said that the event — in which attendees throw bags of colored powder at friends — is designed to bring a taste of the Indian event to Cornell’s campus.

“It’s what Holi is like in India too,” Durvasula said. “The only difference is that it’s entire country that’s taking over the streets with powdered colors.”

The event also contained stations where participants could receive henna tattoos and samosas.

Attendee Raeann Titus ’18 called the energy of the event contagious.

“It’s so amazing how so many Cornell students came to celebrate it,” Titus said. “It’s a great feeling to be able to share such a great culture with other students. You could definitely tell how everyone was really enjoying themselves.”

According to Durvasula, the members of Hindu Student Council began planning Holi before the start of the spring semester.

“Throughout the semester, we make sure that everything is set for the event and that everyone is safe,” Durvasula said.

“Luckily, we’ve done this for so long that the process goes pretty smoothly. By now, our board knows what vendor to talk to and what permits to get. Every year, the event continues to improve.”

Archana Choudary ’18, a native of Jaipur in Northern India, noted that the Hindu Student Council did “a good job of crowd management.”

“I have spent my first 17 Holis in India, and it’s a lot more intense there,” Choudary said. “We don’t just play with colors, but also water, eggs, anything that is remotely liquid … Cornell’s Holi was extremely fun, albeit more gentle.”

Durvasula added that he hopes the event will continue to attract more people in the coming years.

“Sometimes as a board, we struggle with whether or not we should have more educational things, but we also think that the beauty of this event is the rather chaotic feel of it,” Durvasula said. “The ultimate goal here really is to come throw colors at each other and have fun.”