NORWALK – Hundreds gathered at Excelsior High School on Saturday for the 4th Annual Holi Festival of Colors Los Angeles.
The event took place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Festival attendees were treated to various performances by dancers and musical acts alike, as well as multiple food and merchandise vendors.
The festival was held in celebration of the ancient Hindu religious festival Holi. Traditionally, Holi is celebrated in regions of the world with rich Hindu and Indian ties and populations, such as India and Nepal.
Festival Coordinator Charu Das described Saturday’s festival transcending nationality, race or gender.
“We’re presenting it in a spiritual way so that it addresses itself not just to the body, or the country or the culture from which it took birth, but it addresses itself to the living force – the soul within you,” said Das. “So it’s unique and it has a much broader appeal than an ethnic event.”
The festival was highlighted each hour with a “color throw,” where attendees would huddle together and throw colored powder up into the air, often times resulting in each individual being covered from head to toe in muddled shades of greens, blues, oranges, and pinks.
Das explained that each color was representative of individuality within diversity.
“The colors are to indicate that while we’re all one spiritually, we’re also different. There are no two of us that are alike,” said Das. “Every one of us is created with unique talents and abilities, and we’re meant to make our mark, make a difference, and leave the world better than when we came.”
Many of the festival’s performing acts also shared in the spiritual vibe.
The Luminaries, based out of Los Angeles, described themselves as a “conscious hip hop group.”
“We’re not Christian devotees,” said J Brave of the Luminaries. “But our music is very positive, conscious, and high vibe.”
“Hip Hop has many traditions, and we come from the tradition that really wants to raise awareness, speak positive and create the future,” added Daniel Konscious Krieger, also of the Luminaries. “Such as similar to mantra. [In] Mantra…each chant has its own meaning and you chant it with a purpose. So we make sure that our music has a purpose, and that’s to uplift and to raise consciousness, which is in contrast to rap music you may hear on the radio…”
This was the fourth year that the event was held in Los Angeles, however the event has been held in Utah for 15 years, where the event sees 50,000 people over two days.