Festive colors and excitement filled the air at the third annual Drexel Holi Bash on May 4. The event was centered in the scope of Drexel Park and sponsored by several organizations, including Drexel Campus Activities Board, Drexel Indian Undergraduate Students Association, Pragathi and The Good Idea Fund. With skyline views of Center City bearing a picturesque backdrop, attendees arrived as expectant participants of the long-lived tradition that symbolizes the celebration of life.
The day-long Hindu festival, also commonly known as the Festival of Colors, has origins in the Indian subcontinent but has spanned across the globe. It has since evolved into an underlying inspiration behind the commercial Color Run.
With each speck of colored powder signifying a different context to the themes of life, participants arrive in white attire to display the motley of colors that will be tossed on them — a decorated display of commemoration.
The event offered a variety of activities, including a playful foam station, volleyballs and water guns, to name just a few of the extras that heightened the experience. DJ Ravi Jackson provided high energy beats as a backbone, amping up the thrill.
“This organization has made it very important for people from all different backgrounds to learn something new. It is also for the [international students from] India to feel like they have a second home to be comfortable in. This is one of the biggest festivals in India — the Festival of Colors and Life. It’s very important for us to showcase something like this that we truly believe in,” Nikeetha Chikkala, president of DISHA, expressed.
Other students also chimed in to express their gratitude for the day’s festivities.
“Last year, this was the best event that I went to, so that is why I came back this year. It’s a great way for all students to get involved in a cultural event that is fun for everyone,” Thomas Kiesnowski, a sophomore majoring in entrepreneurship, said.
Despite the crowd being speckled with many returning attendees, a plethora of first-timers also showed up.
“It’s really neat — I’ve never been to anything like this before. It’s especially fun being a grad student coming to an event like this because there isn’t as much events for us to participate in,” Kayla Stoffer, a student in the Family Therapy program, said.
The crowd also included visitors from around the nation and the world seeking to enjoy their first Holi in the United States. Spectators hailing all over, near and far, got in tune with the excitement.