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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Holi festival celebration brings joy to a drizzly Friday afternoon

Holi is a significant traditional Indian festival celebrated as the Festival of Colors
Students+throw+brightly+colored+powder+on+each+other+as+part+of+the+celebration+of+Holi.+Taken+by+Toby+Neal+on+March+29.
Students throw brightly colored powder on each other as part of the celebration of Holi. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.

Chico State students didn’t let the rainy weather dampen their Holi festival spirits on Friday. The event, organized by the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center and the Indian Student Association, brought a splash of color to the campus on an otherwise gray day. 

Holi is a significant traditional Indian festival celebrated as the Festival of Colors. It signifies the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring. It is also a time for forgiveness and reconciliation. People come together to celebrate the spirit of unity and brotherhood.

A student wears the colors of Holi proudly. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.

The festival saw students from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate with an array of vibrantly colored powders known as gulal. Despite the sprinkles, laughter and cheers echoed as handfuls of pink, yellow, blue and orange powders painted the air and participants alike. The bright colors are meant to represent the themes of Holi, the coming of spring and fostering joy, unity and equality.

Bags of brightly colored powder, known as gulal, sit ready for festival participants. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.

Although the rain necessitated the cancellation of some activities like a relay race and a rangoli chalk drawing competition, the event still featured a buffet of Indian cuisine, a tug-of-war contest and a lively performance by the Chico State Bollywood Dance Club.

Holi celebrates the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.

Despite the challenges posed by the weather, the rain seemed to be a fitting metaphor for the Holi festival itself – just as the showers bring life to nature, the colors of Holi breathed life into the hearts of those who participated, proving that sometimes, a little rain is all you need to make the colors truly stand out.

The throwing of brightly colored powders is a symbol of spring and of joy and unity. Taken by Toby Neal March 29.
The joy of celebrating Holi was on everyone’s faces. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
Explosions of color filled the air. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
When the rain let up a bit, more “colors” were brought out for the crowd to throw. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29
Revelers shower one another with brightly colored powder, known as gulal. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
The white shirts that were provided by organizers did not stay that color for long. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
A student enjoying a break from the action. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
The colors of the powder represent the colors of spring. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
Friends divide what’s left of a bag of powder. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
There were participants of all ages and types. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
An impromptu and slippery game of tug-of-war took place. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
Another theme of Holi, is that of joy. Smiles were everywhere you looked. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
A student braces for a surprise barrage of color. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
The Orion reporter, Ari Sorokin, puts brightly colored powder on another celebrant. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
Clouds of color were everywhere during the celebration of Holi on Friday. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
Student taking a brief pause. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
The celebration of Holi is not only a celebration of spring and of the victory of good over evil, but also of unity. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29
Forgiveness and reconciliation is another theme that Holi celebrates. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
The rain turned the powder to dye, as it landed on people. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.
Trinity Commons was hard to recognize at times, beneath the clouds of color. Taken by Toby Neal on March 29.

Toby Neal can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Toby Neal, Reporter
Toby Neal is a public relations major, graduating in May. This is his first semester writing for The Orion. Neal is looking forward to bringing interesting and informative stories to the publication. He likes to keep his finger on the pulse of a gamut of things, from politics, to international topics, to hitting live music shows, to finding new places to eat and much in between. See you out there.

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    Ari Sorokin // Apr 2, 2024 at 2:06 pm

    I don’t remember getting these photos taken of me, I assume the others didn’t either. This makes the photos more natural and excellent. Brings be back into the moment.

    Reply