By Megan Blauvelt
Today, the Asian Students At Rider (ASAR) club will celebrate Holi, a festival that celebrates the coming of spring. This festival of colors has both a cultural and religious background.
With the full moon present, Asians worldwide dismiss winter and welcome the start of another spring season with the anticipation of warmer temperatures, brighter days and blooming flowers.
“This festival revels in the coming of colors,” said junior Tejash Bhoola, president of ASAR. “With the flowers and plants, spring brings colors to our life.”
The religious back story in short begins with a devil king who ordered all citizens of India to worship him. However, his own son chose not to worship the devil king, but rather, other gods instead.
Therefore, the father brought challenges to his son’s life. The son always prevailed with the protection of his gods. In order to stop his son, the evil king ordered his daughter, the queen of demons, to lay his son in a bed of flowers and light him on fire. During an attempt to do so, the son was protected by the will of his gods and the queen of demons was engulfed by the flames instead. The demon queen’s burning is annually honored by Holi.
In celebrating Holi, there will be an abundant amount of colorful powder that will be thrown into the sky by all who join together at Rider’s athletic fields. It would be best to wear any clothing you will not mind getting messy or stained. And like many celebrations, a DJ will be present on campus and refreshments will be served.
Traditionally, a bonfire is built to signify the end of evil, but because of safety reasons, there will not be one.
Throughout both semesters, ASAR holds events that help bring awareness of Asian culture to Rider’s campus. A few weeks ago, an Asian food fest took place in Dalys, during which different Asian cuisine was served to the Rider community.
Usually, ASAR would host Asha, a show that displays Asian entertainment and helps raise money for the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. This year, ASAR decided to do something different by introducing Holi to the Rider community instead.
ASAR will accept donations of any amount today and those donations will be given to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Come over to the athletic fields from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and join in the celebration of spring.