Covered in the colors of spring

University students celebrated Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, on Saturday.

Nitin Jain and Pankaj Vasandani pour colored powder on each other while celebrating Holi - the festival of colors on Saturday at the East River Flats behind Coffman Union.

Nitin Jain and Pankaj Vasandani pour colored powder on each other while celebrating Holi – the festival of colors on Saturday at the East River Flats behind Coffman Union.

Cali Owings

University of Minnesota students brought some color to the gray spring Saturday afternoon during Holi âÄî the festival of colors.
The Hindu festival, celebrated annually by Indian student group Bharat, is a celebration of the season change from winter to spring.
Participants met on the East River Flats behind Coffman Union where they shouted âÄúHappy Holi!âÄù and threw brightly colored powders at one another. They aimed at their friends with squirt guns filled with colored water, leaving most peopleâÄôs clothes and faces unrecognizable.
They chased each other across the river bank or snuck up behind friends to pour powder down their shirts, like a never-ending game of tag where everyone who has a package of colored powder is âÄúIt.âÄù
Maya Suresh, a senior in the Carlson School of Management, brought her friends Erin Bennett and Michelle Stein to the festival for a homework break, and they said it was surprisingly stress relieving. It was their first time participating in the festival, and they ran before getting hit with cold water.
Suresh and Stein came prepared, wearing old clothes and sneakers, because they had seen pictures of the event at other universities. Those who are experienced with the Holi festival said they wear the same clothes every year.
âÄúPeople are probably going to stare at us like weâÄôre crazy,âÄù Suresh said as she and her friends walked back to Dinkytown from the festival covered in splashes of pink, blue and orange powder.
Holi is one of BharatâÄôs most anticipated events of the year, said Vidya Mantrala, who brought a group of friends, including some who had participated last year and some fresh faces.
They joked about getting the color out of their clothes, hair and faces while one said he might have trouble removing all of the powder from his ear canal.
The holiday, which follows the lunar calendar and fell on March 20 this year, was held by Bharat in April because its members hoped for better weather.