After a successful Diwali celebration last year, ASISU and multiple other student organizations are hosting another Hindu celebration, Holi Festival, on April 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the quad.
A spring celebration held mainly in South Asian countries with a prominent Hindu population, such as India and Nepal, Holi Festival is normally celebrated at the end of February or in early March. Due to weather concerns, Krystoff Kissoon of the ASISU Diversity and Inclusion Committee, pushed ISU’s celebration to April 15, even though planning began in January.
“The Nepalese Student Association used to celebrate Holi, but it was always an internal thing,” Kissoon said.
Other ISU committees sponsoring the Holi Festival include the Nepalese Student Association, Hispanic Awareness Leadership Organization and the International Student Association.
The festival is free to all students, and attendees are encouraged to wear white; buckets of color will be posted around the quad for students to spread on their clothes.
“It’s a celebration of color,” Kissoon said. “We figured the color would be seen easier on white clothes.”
Kissoon hopes to make this a tradition everyone will enjoy.
Traditionally, Holi is a celebration of the triumph of good over bad.
The colors symbolize the bridging of the social gap and the renewal of sweet relationships.
During the festival, people wish each other “Happy Holi.” Some celebrations begin with the lighting of a bonfire on Holi eve.
During Holi, legends and stories associated with the festival are told, making the festival a unique experience for all. One of the most popular legends is the legend of Holika and Prahlad.
As the legend goes, an egotistical demon king named Hiranyakashyap won over the kingdom of Earth and commanded everyone to worship only him, but his son Prahlad was devoted to Lord Naarayana and refused to worship his father.
The egotistical king wanted to kill Prahlad but failed every time, leading him to convince his sister Holika to trick Prahlad into sitting in a fire.
While Holika was supposed to survive, the fire took her life while Prahlad left unscathed because he kept chanting Lord Naarayana’s name. Holi’s name was derived from Holika and is celebrated as a festival of good’s victory over evil.
“I want everybody to come,” Kissoon said. “This is really a joint effort and I don’t want anyone to feel excluded.”
His passion for the Holi Festival started at a young age.
Being raised by Indian parents in Trinidad-and-Tobago, celebrations like Holi and Diwali were part of his life. Now, he wants to share a piece of his childhood with the community.
“We’ve never had anything like this in Pocatello,” Kissoon said. “This is a tradition we want to start to celebrate diversity.”