It’s an ancient Hindu celebration of love and the triumph of good over evil, and it’s also one of the most colorful festivals in the world. Holi doesn’t have a set date, but it usually takes place when winter is turning into spring.
Observers usually light a bonfire on the eve of Holi. The next day, they throw colorful powder and liquid at each other in the streets in a ritual that wakes up the body, mind, and spirit after the cold weather. Meanwhile, International Mother Earth Day began in 1970 and is marked annually on April 22.
Worldwide in scope but with a San Francisco origin, the ritual often includes cleanups, rallies, and other grassroots action to protect the environment. On April 18, Queens Museum and the Flushing-based Hindu Temple Society of North America will host a combined Holi/Earth Day celebration with colorful — and multi-cultural — dances and music.
It should be a great partnership as the earth is the embodiment of kindness, patience, compassion, and forgiveness in Hinduism. Ditto in the modern environmentalist movement, as Mother Earth forgives humans for their mistakes, specifically exploiting natural resources and overindulging in things that don’t belong to humankind.
Photo: Queens Museum