The Sri Sri Rhada Krishna temple was built in 1998 to serve the needs of the Hindu community in Utah county, Utah, America. Every year the temple hosts an event called the Holi Festival. This is a traditional Hindu spring festival in which people celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring by lighting bonfires, dancing, eating and throwing colored powder paint at each other.
The Holi Festival is also known as the Festival of Colors and has become a tourist attraction. The temple opens its doors to thousands of people each spring, allowing non-Hindus to join in the celebrations. The colored powders that participants throw in the air and at each other is often perfumed, so the overall effect is a wild frenzy of color and scent – a perfect homage to the colors and smells of spring flowers. The Holi Festival celebrates the transition from winter to spring and is a spiritual symbol of new beginnings. Through the festival, Hindus shed the cold and darkness of winter to celebrate the longer, warmer days of spring. It is a time in which peace and plenty are celebrated, a time of hope, love and laughter.
The act of throwing colorful paint powder is said to have its roots in an older tradition, in which Hindus burned old wood and leaves to signify the end of winter. The ash from these fires was smeared onto people’s skins. As the tradition progressed, colorful dyes and perfumes were added to the ash to create a type of scented powder paint. Celebrants took to throwing handfuls of the powder at each other and in the air in their joy at the coming of spring.