IN PHOTOS: Celebrating the Holi Festival in Manila 2014
MANILA, Philippines – Happy Holi! Holi Hai!
A large crowd gathered at the SM Mall of Asia By the Bay Sunday, March 16, to celebrate the Holi Festival with loved ones and friends old and new.
The Holi Festival, which originated in India, is associated with numerous legends such as the love story of Radha and Krishna, where young Krishna smeared color on Radha's face because he was jealous of her fair complexion. He was told by his mother that he can turn Krishna's skin into any color he wanted.
Hence, the springtime festival also known as the Festival of Love or Festival of Colors.
In India, Holi is celebrated by throwing colored powder or Gulal and colored water to anyone on the streets.
Devotees also offer prayer in temples as tradition.
It is the the largest color festival in the world celebrated in more than 20 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America. It's a festival where colored powder is thrown up in the air to symbolize freedom unity and the color of everyday life.
This is the 2nd time the Holi Festival was brought to Manila by the Asia Society, an international organization that promotes and shares the culture of Asian countries to bring people from different cultures together.
There were conga lines going around the open grounds to the beat of the Samba School Imperatriz Filipinense, with the crowd dancing and singing along to Punjabi Bhangra and Bollywood music, and throwing Gulal powder (or smearing it on the faces of others) to kick off the festival.
Marge Madrigal, Program Officer for the Asia Society, said that they believe that bringing people together is what their organization is all about. "We are doing the Holi Festival because we believe that the sharing of cultures is a good way for people to get together and the Holi Festival is really all about being one with each other.
She also said that the Holi Festival is a good way for people to come together and that they attract a diverse crowd. "We have Filipinos, Indians and other nationalities come together and so we will continue [to bring the Holi Festival to Manila] because it's actually been getting bigger and bigger. Last year we had about 800 people and this year it reached about 1,500."
There were also performances by belly dancers and by members of the Indian community to keep the crowd entertained.
Hosts Cassie Deluria and Roshan Daryani pumped up the crowd from start to finish leading the 2 countdowns where the throwing of colors took place. Indian delicacies were also served during the event.
To cap off the night, Gulal powder was again thrown up in the air and everyone danced to the music played by CJ Wasu.
No one left the Holi Festival without color on their hair, bodies and clothes.
The festival was more than a celebration of Indian culture. It was a celebration of unity among people who all came to have a good time no matter what age, gender or race. – Rappler.com