St. George hosts color festival for first time

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With hands raised in the air, people embraced clouds of neon-colored chalk Saturday at the spiritual color festival.

People who are familiar with this Indian tradition will know it as the Holi Festival. The festival celebrates winter passing and spring coming.

In this region, the Holi Festival, or the color festival, usually takes place in Spanish Fork. This was the first time the festival took place in St. George.

Festival Coordinator Cherub Das said he chose to throw a color festival in St. George because he was driving back from Los Angeles and noticed the Dixie Sun Bowl for the first time. With it’s huge space, he realized he had to throw a Holi Festival here. Das plans to continue to have the color festival in St. George annually.  

Das said the number of people who attended was more than he expected.

Das said the Holi Festival is primarily put on to change people’s lives, whether it’s to learn a thing or two from vegetarianism, or to discover a deeper spiritual sense of themselves.

“If you can change one life, it’s worth it,” Das said.

The activities during the event included mantra bands, yoga, spiritual merchandise available to purchase and chalk throws.

Das said the bands perform mantra songs because mantra is a name of God. Saying his name is a way to purify the heart. Das said he hopes young people will have more strength to face their challenges by attending events like the Holi Festival, which put life in a spiritual perspective.

Ariel Roberts, a freshman theater major from St. George, said she was drawn to the festival because she is a yogi who believes in peace and love. She said her favorite part of the day was the live yoga under the sun. Roberts said yoga and meditation help people reach goals and teach discipline.

“It really helps you to strengthen your mind and body to relax,” Roberts said.

Matt Winward, a sophomore communication major from St. George, said the mantra band Ananda Groove did a great job playing. Winward said it was cool people could come together with people they weren’t familiar with because the overall feeling was peace and love.

David Columbus, a sophomore art major from Los Angeles, said the Holi Festival was a very exciting event to attend.

“I thought the color festival was magnificent and a really nice experience,” Columbus said. “It was weird to see since I’ve only seen things like that happen in places like Venice Beach or at a local venue in the city. Seeing it in St. George was definitely interesting. But, nonetheless, it was awesome to witness. I would definitely consider going back.”

Columbus said his favorite parts of the festival were the color throws.

“There was so much color everywhere you couldn’t get away from it,” Columbus said. “There was so much to take from it. Everyone was so friendly and the music was great. I loved every minute of it.”