Chakra Announcements

Holi/Gaura Purnima festival

by Caru das

Posted March 17, 2005

HOLI, The Festival of Colors
When: March 26, Saturday 4 pm
Where: Krishna Temple, 8628 S Main St., Spanish Fork, Utah
Contact person: Charu or Vai
Contact Numbers: 798-3559/787-1510
www.utahkrishnas.com

The Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork invites all members of the public to celebrate the festival of Holi on Saturday, March 26th, from 4 pm.

In India Holi announces the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. It is a festival that breathes an atmosphere of social merriment. People bury their hatchets with a warm embrace and throw their worries to the wind. Every nook and corner presents a typically colorful sight. Young and old alike are covered with colors (red, green, yellow, blue, black and silver). People in small groups are seen singing, dancing and throwing colors on each other.

Elements of the festival will be observed with classical Indian dance, and a power point presentation and bathing ceremony for India's greatest incarnation, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, whose appearance day coincides with Holi. There will be musical interludes, the lighting of a bonfire, burning of an effigy, and the throwing of dry colors on friends and foe alike. The dry powders supplied by the temple are non stain, but still guests are cautioned not to wear their "Saturday Best."

Anjali Tata* is a dance artist, choreographer, and teacher who has agreed to come from Kansas City to perform. As a second generation Indian American, she has over 22 years training in Bharata Natyam with her Guru Viji Prakash and over 10 years training in Yoga, and Modern dance. Tata offers a fresh and unique approach to teaching with over 12 years combined experience at the Shakti School of Bharata Natyam, UCLA, Cal Arts, and workshops at several schools throughout the Los Angeles area. Anjali holds an M.F.A. in Dance from UCLA's Dept. of World Arts & Cultures and a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley.

Holi has long traditional links with several legends. According to one popular legend, the word Holi is derived from the demoness, Holika. She was the sister of Hiranya Kashipu (the name meaning love of gold and a soft bed), a demon king, who having defeated the Gods, proclaimed his supremacy over everyone else in the Universe. Enraged over his son's ardent devotion to Lord Vishnu, Hiranya Kashipu decides to punish him. He takes the help of his sister, Holika, who is immune to any damage from fire. Holika carries the small boy Prahlad into the fire but a divine intervention destroys her and saves Prahlad from getting burned. Thus Holi is celebrated to mark the burning of the evil Holika. Her effigy is consumed in the fire!

Holi is celebrated with special importance in the North of India. It solemnizes the love of Radha and Krishna. The spraying of colored powders recalls the love sport of Lord Krishna and His devotees.

The color, noise and entertainment that accompanies the celebration of Holi bears witness to a feeling of oneness and sense of brotherhood. The festival brings home the lesson of spiritual and social harmony!!

A BYU student who has attended for several years, Stephanie Christiansen says, "I love the gaiety, the hilarity of it all! An unforgettable way to usher in the spring season. Even first time comers swing into the spirit of the event, as white and dark skin colors quickly disappear under layers of green, red, purple, and blue powders. "

At the celebration in 2003, Anjali Mangala said. "I haven't been back to India for a dozen years, but today throwing the colors, a flood of memories transported me back to my hometown and my childhood."

Those who would rather observe than participate in the throwing of the colors may stay indoors and watch from the windows, or the upper floor verandah.

To help the temple construction fund, a suggested donation will be asked for the full course meals served from a buffet table laden with twenty or thirty preparations. Attendees are invited bring a fruit or flowers or a cooked vegetarian offering to further augment the huge feast.

For more information, call (801)798-3559/787-1510/www.utahkrishnas.com


*Further Biography of Anjali Tata:
Her Arangetram (dance debut) in 1990 was successfully reviewed by several local Indian news publications. After touring with Prakash's Shakti Dance Company throughout the U.S., Canada, and India from 1992-96, she has since been choreographing in both traditional and contemporary genres. Tata has presented original works at many venues throughout California including Artwallah, a forum for emerging South Asian artists 2001 through 2004, the World Festival of Sacred Music, Highways Performance Space, Long Beach Women's Festival, Japan America Theatre, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Thousand Oaks Civic Center, the Monterey Poetry/Dance Series, and most recently at the Hollywood Bowl. In addition, Tata has contributed choreography to and performed in works by respected artists such as Lynn Dally's "Common Ground" at the Anson Ford Theater, Parijat Desai's "Quiet/Fire" at Grand Performances in downtown Los Angeles, Paula Present and Madeline Leavitt's "Holding Up the Sky" at the Gascon Center Theatre in Culver City, and Nitin Sawhney's set for "World Music Night" at the Hollywood Bowl. In February 2004 she was selected to join Cirque du Soleil's artistic pool. She was a board member of the South Asian Artists Alliance last year and is a co-founder of Post Natyam Dance Collective. Tata currently teaches dance and Yoga in the Kansas City area.