Arcadia Celebrates Holi Festival on Haber Green

By Caitlin Burns | March 26, 2019

Three students with powdered color paint splashed on them in front of castle

By Aaron Uscinowicz ’22 and Caitlin Joyce ’20

On March 20, Arcadia’s “Inside Hinduism” course hosted its second annual Holi Hindu Festival of Colors. Students met on Haber Green to learn about the history of the celebration and the Hindu culture while enjoying a lunch of traditional foods.

After lunch, students took to the grass to throw color packets, similar to the traditional Holi celebrations. Holi is celebrated in India for the coming of spring each year. There are numerous origin stories for the festival, but the title “Holi” comes from the name “Holika,” a character in Hindu folklore who was burned in a fire, while her devout nephew was saved. In India, followers of Hinduism light bonfires at night; the celebration of colors commences the next day.

Frankie Mallis, adjunct professor of English, teaches “Inside Hinduism” and requires students to spend 15 hours during the semester visiting Hindu temples or participating in cultural events. She had encouraged students to attend Holi celebrations at other universities, until last year, when international student Janvi Bhattad ’19 suggested that Arcadia host its own festival.

“This year we had twice as much turn out and interest, so I think we’re only going to keep growing,” said Mallis. “I think it’s wonderful that students can experience another culture right here on campus, especially for those who can’t go abroad.”