Holi » Spanish Fork event draws tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints and others to Krishna Temple.
By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune
With only six participants at the first annual Holi Festival at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Mormons outnumbered Hindus — 4 to 2.
In the past 25 years, that ratio has widened exponentially.
At next week’s festival — the largest of its kind in the U.S. — Caru Das, the temple’s priest, expects up to 70,000 revelers, most of whom will be students from LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University in nearby Provo.
“It’s an opportunity for young LDS kids to come and celebrate their spirituality,” Das says, “without alcohol or drugs.”
The two-day event, which Das dubbed the “Festival of Colors,” derives from an ancient Hindu tradition, celebrating the end of winter and the triumph of good over evil. It is common in southern India for friends and neighbors to gather in small groups around a bonfire and throw colored corn starch in the air.
For his Utah version, Das added “kirtan,” which in Saskrit means “to glorify or spread the name and fame of God’s love,” he says.