Holi, for those who aren’t familiar, is the Hindu Festival of Colors that’s traditionally celebrated in India. Over the years, it’s made its way across international waters but the overall message of positivity remains the same—promoting peace, equality and unity. Today, Holi is “the largest festival of colors celebration in America” and this Saturday, June 15, Surati Performing Arts (a Jersey City non-profit) will be hosting their annual Holi festival. The event is anticipated to attract more than 15,000 people and will take place across both Hoboken and Jersey City.
“What I love about our festival is that it is attended by all, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds or nationalities, thus spreading the message of love, brotherhood, acceptance and peace,” said Rimli Roy, founder and artistic director of Surati Performing Arts. “By promoting the arts and culture of India, Surati Holi Hai is growing to become the tri-state’s most talked-about, meaningful and unique celebration of the Spring Festival of Colors.”
Surati Holi Hai will kick off at 10am at Jersey City Hall (280 Grove Street) with the non-profit’s first-ever Hudson River Fitness Color Walk. Before taking off, participants will smear each other with colors and then walk to the rhythms of live dhol drums and join in on the color countdown. The walk will come to an end once participants reach Hoboken’s Pier A Park, where a flash mob is expected to break out to a Holi song Bollywood dance routine.
When you sign up for the Hudson River Fitness Color Walk, the registration fee includes a T-shirt, two packets of color and one bottle of water. Participants can also register on-site, beginning at 8:30am. The festival itself will begin from Pier A Park at noon, featuring more color play and countdowns, live musical performances, food vendors, yoga and dance workshops, cabana-style tents and drink specials. Entry to the Holi festival is free.
“Holi, the festival of color, has become a truly international festival,” said Consul General of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty. “People all over the world enjoy celebrating Holi, as it fosters love, compassion, understanding and brotherhood. We are delighted that Surati has, over the last few years, been organizing Holi with participation of the larger community of New York and New Jersey, enlightening the people about the cultural traditions of India. We, in the Consulate, are happy to partner with Surati and are confident that this year the participation will exceed all expectations and set a new record.”
Surati is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that showcases and promotes dance, music, theatre, festivals and stories rooted in India with traditional/modern genres from around the world. Surati’s mission is to educate and enrich communities globally in the diverse cultural heritage of India through performances, educational projects, festivals, classes, events, workshops and lecture-demonstrations. For more information, visit www.suratiholihai.org.