March 26, 2011
Phalgun Krushna Ashtami, Kaliyug Varsha 5112
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Staten Island Hindu Temple, Sunnyside, was awash in color last Saturday as members wore their finest traditional outfits and dabbed their faces with bright colors for the Holi festival, to celebrate the end of winter.
The festival is held on the last full moon of the lunar month Phalguna and also is known as a social festival of colors.
Hindus worldwide enjoy playfully decorating each other with colored powder and water for medicinal purposes, according to Sunnyside temple member Jyothi Setty. Here, Hindus lightly applied colors to their faces, although in some temples in India members douse each other with color.
Indian music and dance — ranging from classics such as Hindustani to Bollywood style, which is a fusion of Eastern and Western music and movement — were performed before a standing-room-only crowd.
The backdrop was a banner decorated with the traditional colors and hanging decorations featuring welcoming symbols such as elephants with raised trunks.
Some of India’s 14 major languages, with many dialects, were used by singers, who reflect a membership of over 600 families from all major regions of India.
Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil. The colors are traditionally made from the flowers, leaves and roots of various plants, although, in recent years, synthetic colors also have been used.
Temple members began the festival in the afternoon with worship of Shri Krishna, a Hindu god.
The temple, which also is known as Shree Ram Mandir, is located at 1318 Victory Blvd. For information, call Vimal Gupta at 718-720-6745.