AP NEWS

Holi Festival At U Of Scranton Welcomes Spring With Clouds Of Color

April 14, 2019

SCRANTON — Fistfuls of color thumped softly against their targets on the campus green.

Clouds of blue and yellow floated high above the field for the University of Scranton’s annual Holi Festival of Colors, the Indian celebration of spring typically marked in March, but held for Saturday in hopes of good weather.

“It’s difficult to do inside,” Eva Grove said, chuckling.

The color war hadn’t ended yet, but Grove, vice president of the university’s student-run Asia Club, was already scooping up empty plastic bags the crowd had just emptied.

No body part was off-limits. Those jumping into the free-for-all without glasses did so at their own risk.

Hands launched small mounds of brightly colored powder, food-grade starch tinted with food coloring, into faces with impunity.

It got everywhere.

If you didn’t walk out with frosted hair, highlighted teeth and caked ears, you didn’t try hard enough.

The Asia Club worked with the university’s Multicultural Center and Asian Studies Department to organize the color fight, hire Amber Indian Restaurant of Moosic to cater, and bring in performers from the Kala School of Indian Classical Dance for entertainment.

“Holi itself is the Indian Festival of Colors, which is welcoming the spring season in the Indian culture,” said Kody Fitzgerald, president of the Asia Club.

The celebration was free to the public, and families joined with college students in lobbing color at will.

Gary Ng, a graduate student, stood on the edge of the field, looking out of place in a clean, white shirt, and watched the mayhem before him.

He’s helped organize the Holi celebration for the last five years and typically jumps in. This time, he stood it out.

“When you hit the shower … looking down and you’re seeing colors everywhere. You sneeze and you’re sneezing colors,” he said. “That’s the one thing everybody always remembers about Holi. After you sneeze, it’s like, ‘Oh! My God, it’s colored.’ ”

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