Sunday, March 27, 2011

Holi Festival at UCF

Last year I sketched Holi Fest at the Citrus Bowl and had a blast. I got a tip that there was a Holi Fest celebration at UCF this year so I had to go. Holi is an Indian springtime celebration that celebrates the triumph of good over bad. Brightly colored 'gulal' and 'abeer' is rubbed on each others' faces. It was a beautiful spring day and I relaxed as I walked past a large fountain in front of the school's library. Students were sunning themselves and reading on the grass. I regretted never having attended such a gorgeous campus. The Holi celebration was being held behind the arboretum, I presumed that was because there would be a large open field for the crowds. When I got there, I found three or four families gathered around a garden hose. I almost walked by thinking the larger Festival must be just a little further. Everyone was already splashed with bright colors, I was in the right place.

Holi is a playful fun celebration. The boys chased the girls trying to cover them in powder. A girl shrieked as she ran barefoot through some pine cones. I sat under a pine tree and started sketching. The smaller celebration had an advantage in that it was more intimate and direct, I wasn't distracted by a huge crowd. Several times couples approached me wanting to see what I was working on. They complimented me but I remained outside the celebration since I wasn't once tagged with pigment. I was wearing paint splattered jeans and a multi stained shirt I wore to a DRIP dance company party, so I was ready for anything.

After all the colorful powders were thrown, a water fight began. Pigmented water was dumped and sprayed playfully. There is an amazing beauty to this colorful celebration. As I finished up my sketch I considered sketching a particularly brightly pigmented couple. She was coated in bright pink, magenta and purple while he was covered in reds, yellows. Then everyone gathered around the hose and it was sprayed fountain like straight up and everyone took a group shower washing away the colors. My job was done. I waved goodbye to several people who had approached me and headed off to find my next sketch.

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