Holi being celebrated across US

Holi being celebrated across US

With Holi gradually gaining ground in the US, a large number of people including non-Indians are reported to be celebrating the festival of colours across America. While most of the Holi celebrations are planned for the coming weekend, the ones held this past weekend have attracted hundreds of people.

US lawmakers too are now greeting Indian-Americans on the occasion that has gained quite a following among youth and non-Indians.

"The festival of Holi, known as the Festival of Colours, is a time for communities to come together after the long winter months and celebrate the coming of spring," Congressman Joe Crowley said in a statement greeting people on the occasion.

The eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, Crowley is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.

"While Holi's origins are in India, the festival has become a tradition celebrated by many in the United States."

"Today, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists will join family and friends to observe Holi through dance, music, meals, the lighting of bonfires celebrating goodness over evil and the tossing of vibrant coloured powders into the air, in a grand celebration of peace, friendship, and harmony," Crowley said.

Over the weekend, one of the largest such celebrations was held in Houston, Texas that attracted several thousand people including non-Hindu Americans. Running into its fifth annual Holi festival, this year's theme was "Green Holi", which stressed on the use of new herbal and non-toxic colours.

"I was here last year and this year the crowd seemed more enthusiastic.     It was a well managed event and there were no issues all day which is surprising considering the number of attendees," Lt Aaron Slater said.

"I have never seen such a large number of non-Indian participating in Indian festival," said Vijay Pallod, another Houston resident. The Bihar and Jharkhand Association of North America has scheduled the celebrations in New Jersey on April 4 while Indian-Americans in the Greater Washington Area will do so this weekend.

The Barsana Dham in Austin Texas, which celebrates Holi in the traditional "Braj way" will mark it on March 30.