Flying Colors: Holi 2024

Shloka Chodhari ’26 and Ethan Zhu ’26 in News | May 26, 2024

          This past Thursday, the Hindu Student Organization (HSO) hosted its annual Holi celebration. Holi is a Hindu Festival of Colors which marks the arrival of spring and commemorates the victory of good over evil as it celebrates the victory of Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe, over the demon Hiranyakashipu. Lawrenceville students gathered in front of  the Edith Memorial Chapel to celebrate the  festival, engaging in traditional rituals, dance performances, and the playful exchange of colors through the tossing of colored powder packets. The Holi celebration was a vibrant display of the School community, highlighting cultural appreciation among the student body.

          Vice President of HSO Sahas Chodhari ’24 explained that Holi is a commonly celebrated Hindu event, so the HSO intended to replicate its atmosphere in all aspects, from prayer and dance to food and the throwing of colors. “Participants first engaged in a traditional pooja, which involved offering prayers and seeking blessings,” Chodhari elaborated, “We later had an energetic dance performance put on by the Nachale dance group, captivating the audience with their lively and colorful routines.” The event provided food and drinks, as participants prepared for the “most anticipated part” of the celebration: the throwing of colors.

          Having been attracted by that aspect of the event, Daniel Siahaan ’24 attended Holi for the first time. “A bunch of my buddies went out there last year, and they came back to the Hamill House…[with] their white Holi shirts drenched in color, so I thought it would be fun to come,” he said. Siahaan “cherished” the moment as part of one of his “last weeks on campus as a V Former.” While the event had very well met his expectations, he noted in particular “the sheer number of people running around with water guns made the event more exciting” than he had anticipated.

          Looking forward to next year’s events, HSO Co-President Sameer Menghani ’24 expressed his hopes to broaden the participation of the greater school community, similar to their goals for this year’s events. “We tried to increase the amount of advertising, sending posters to every house group chat, announcing the event at School Meeting, and getting as many people interested as possible,” Menghani said. He intends for HSO to do the same for its other annual events, especially the Lohri Festival.

          With a large portion of the student body in attendance, this event ultimately exemplified the HSO’s dedication to the Lawrenceville community and the celebration of Hindu culture, leaving all participants with unforgettable memories.