Story and photos by Lindsey Vande Wege
Bass vibrations echoed across campus, drawing interested students and families to the fifth annual UCSC Holi Festival on the Upper East Field.
Just under 1,000 attendees came together on April 13 to experience the UCSC campus’ version of the traditional Hindu festival Holi, organized by the UC Santa Cruz Indian Student Association (ISA), Tau Kappa Epsilon, Student Union Assembly and the Dean of Students Office.
“We can use the significance of the Holi festival as a platform to influence people to come together not only to celebrate but to work out issues that we as a community are facing everyday,” said Jaskiran Kaur, president of ISA, in an email.
Holi can be dated as far back as the 7th century. A central theme of the festival is love, according to The Times of India. The traditional Hindu festival took place on March 1-2 this year, at the end of winter and the coming of spring. The celebration acts as an event to heal relationships, forge new friendships and bridge social gaps.
Kaur explained the vivid colored powders used at the celebration at UCSC represent joy, love and happiness. The festival holds deep significance in India and has become popular in non-Hindu groups in recent years.
The on-campus Holi festival gained massive popularity in recent years, but Kaur said there is a need to incorporate more education about Hindu culture.
“We have a small description of Holi on a banner, which is held during the Holi festival, presentation during Holi informational night, a small description on flyers and event page but none of these seem to work,” Kaur said in an email. “Hopefully, next year we can work on this even more and educate people on the significance of Holi.”