let your hair down day at the holi festival in utah

The stated objective of the Sri Sri Radha Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah (in the outlying district of SLC) is to bring people to Krishna Consciousness and membership in His devotional family, develop them to spiritual maturity, and equip them for their service in the temple and life mission in the world, in order to magnify Krishna’s Holy Name. People from all over the state came together on the weekend to celebrate Holi, one of many festivals celebrated on the temple grounds. In the Hindu religion, Holi (festival of color) is a celebration of good over evil.

Here’re a few choice photos of our own assortment of ragamuffins celebrants. In front of a backdrop of cavorters there’s grandson Thomas, middle left to right his friends Reuben and Jonathan, and bringing up the rear is granddaughter Vimala (r) with her friend Abby.

Thomas, Jonathan and Reuben with the temple in the background:

Does every culture have a sort of let your hair down day for its members? If not, don’t you think it would be mentally helpful if they did?

That night Thomas had to take two showers, and still went to bed with color in his hair and ears. If you took the couple of minutes to watch the video above you’ll understand perfectly! Perhaps we’ll see you there next year?

25 thoughts on “let your hair down day at the holi festival in utah

    • I can imagine you, T and little T having a great time there. Not quite as lavish an affair as your jazz and carnivals in New Orleans, but very colorful.

    • That you seen before? Does that verify the old saying “great minds think alike”, therefore we read all the same websites? I first saw that video on Huffington Post. You too? I’m glad you approve.

  1. It looks like it would be a happy place for everyone, but I would be afraid of the dust, I think. I will have to enjoy it from a distance or on the telly. It was exciting to see it in Utah! We aren’t there right now so maybe there was plenty of publicity beforehand but if not there should have been so people would know the reason behind it all. Thanks for sharing! I didn’t see a picture of you all colored up though, hehe.

    • Yes, everybody did seem to have a great time, even the adults in the party (which included my son-in-law and several family friends “of a certain age”), so that now we have blackmail pictures should any of these people run for high office some day! πŸ˜† As for me, I knew it would be crowded–I had the same concerns you did–and I turned down the offer to go, and turned out we had a previous commitment anyhow, so the matter was moot.

    • Please thank Elly for me as well! I could not figure this out at all. Furthermore I never received notice from WordPress that I was able to access through your link. I hope all my readers will let me know when/if they have problems submitting comments.

  2. Yes Aunty. At least one other culture has a “let-your-down” opportunity. The tomato festival in Spai qualifies I guess.

    Sadly, here in India, every year we get to read of people being harmed by toxic chemicals mixed in the colours. With increasing campaign for use of natural/herbal colours during Holi, such instances are coming down though.:-(

    My pet dog ventured out once on the day of holi and came back looking like a multi-coloured polynesian macaw. Since he preferred to have involuntary bath otherwise too only one in a month by rolling in some neighbourhood puddle, me and my brother had a tough time trying to restore his original looks. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, and everytime I think about all those tomatoes being smashed and wasted like that–considering how long we have to wait here in Utah for tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes (though they’re available all year)–I cringe; I’m so envious! Far be it for me to tell other countries what they should do, however, unlike lots of politicians I know.

    • I knew already. Btw, why was I not aware you and your brother had a pet dog when you were younger? I hope to hear more about that, what happened to it, etc., and how you feel about animals inside the house.

      • He was a small fellow – some sort of a cross between an alsatian and a pomeranian. When he was a new born pup his fur was jet black. So we named him Blacky but he soon turned grayish. We got him when I was about 9 years old. Initially Mom was reluctant to allow him into the kitchen but he soon won her over.He was then allowed to not only live in the kitchen but also sit at the dining table and sleep under the covers in our beds. He didn’t care much for me and my brother but loved Mom no end. He would loaf around whole day with my best friend’s dog but drop in home every hour or so just to check Mom hasn’t gone out anywhere without him.

        Once cousin Swarna and Mom went to see a movie. Blacky followed them all the way even as Mom tried to shoo him back home. The manager at the cinema waived the admission fee for him and let him in. Mom held the seat down for him to climb on. But the moment she took her hand off, the seat flipped up tossing Blacky two rows back ! The audiencee that day had a unique cinematic experience – the original movie sound track enhanced with a live show by The Bawling Babies Orchestra led by lead vocalist, The Howling Dog. πŸ™‚

        When he was 8 years old, we lost him to the cancer of the ear. Mom declared nobody else could take his place in her life. That put at rest any plans to get a new pet.

        But Blacky has lived posthumously in tales narrated by me – some true, some fictional – that ensured many a peaceful dinner and bedtime when Aishma and Dyuti were growing up. They obviously wanted a pet after listening to the stories. Usha put her foot down and killed any such prospect. Bringing up two daughters is tough enough as it is, she said. I don’t have it in me to raise another child, she said. The kids tried assuring her they would take care of the pet. But their promises are as reliable as their promises to restrict internet and TV viewing to one hour per day! Usha would have nothing of it.

        But now that they have grown up a bit and Usha’s sister has got a pet kitten and a good friend has got a Labrador, hopes soar again……….:-)

        • What a terrific story! I didn’t know anyone else (in the family) was as enamored of animals as I am. The only other thing I should say is that you should be writing your own blog. You’re so funny. And although I perfectly understand Usha’s position about pets, some of my best stories are centered around pets of all kinds. In fact I’ve been waiting for an excuse to write about them. Now maybe I will. You’re an inspiration. (Btw, do you need any ideas for a blog title? πŸ˜‰ )

  3. That sounds so interesting and fun!!!! And your grands are adorable.

    Question: one of my doctors’ last name is Krishna — does that mean that he is a follower of Krishna? He is a really good person who I really respect!

    • Probably, but not so sure, IF he’s Hindu. Being an Indian born Hindu is less a “religion” as such, but is more like being born a Jew. You don’t have to believe in any particular dogma, but if you’re born to a Hindu family, you just ARE. The Spanish Fork temple stemmed from the movement that began here in the 1960s, however, and has very little to do with India’s Hinduism as I know it. There were about 88,000 attendees during the weekend festival. Seems to grow every year. People of all ages and religions alike seem to enjoy cavorting together.

        • Now that I know what all you’ve been through the last days, this WOULD have been far more fun! I hope you enjoyed it vicariously through watching the video. I did.

      • Krishna, whether used as a first name or last name, is quite a common name among people of Indian origin. The name is definitely taken from Lord Krishna but a person so named may not necessarily be an ardent follower of Lord Krishna. In fact, most hindus do not have a primary deity they worship. It is usually a group of popular gods and godesses such as Shiva, Ganesha, Rama, Krishna, Durga/Kaali, Lakshmi et al that they worship regularly. The holy pantheon itself has a few million deities which makes it very convenient for us. Anything that can not be blamed on the Prime Minister, his cabinet, the politicians, the government or the judiciary, can be defined as “Act of God”. And here too, there has to be accountability. One can not just blame God in general, the culprit has to be named. So tsunamis and heavy rains are act of Indra – the Rain God, scorching summers are caused by Surya – the Sun God, a devasting fire can be ascribed to the rage of Agni, the Fire God and so on. Then are others such as Christ, the Buddha, Mahavira, muslim and Sikh saints who are revered by us and their blessings invoked in crucial times. Like when we are appearing for an examination, job interview, seeking to get married, applying for a visa etc etc. Of course, when we succeed it is all due to our own effort and merit and we never deserved anything less to begin with. πŸ™‚

        • I love your explanation–a much better one than I could do! The difference between my southern Baptist (see I still write it with a capitol letter) is that if I pray for something and don’t get it, it’s because God didn’t want me to have it so I have to accept it, but if I do get it it’s all HIS doing, not mine. That takes all the pressure off I suppose but it makes it a little too easy to give up too, and settle. I like your way better (I never deserved anything less)! Thanks for adding this! πŸ™‚

  4. Fun to watch but, I don’t think I want to be there…
    But – loved the video!
    What is the color powder made of?

    • I thought the video was well done…enough so that I didn’t have to be there to experience it. Hubby says the powder was most likely colored corn starch. I really don’t know, but in India I know they sling some sort of liquid that dries almost immediately, and as far as I know doesn’t leave a stain. Glad you enjoyed the experience.

  5. The best thing about the festival is that you don’t have to explain to your mother how you got so dirty while she scrubs you in the basement tub. Remember when only (relatively) clean kids were permitted in the living areas of the house? But it’s no fun to go through life pristine. Bring on the color and the dirt!

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