Acceptance is Festival of Colors

Words and Photos by Ryan Neeley

as posted in

When it comes to unrestrained celebration, the devotees at New Vrindaban’s Palace of Gold in the hills of northern West Virginia really know how to throw a party.

About 1,000 people attended the Festival of Colors, also known as Holi, a festival celebrated by Hindus in India and throughout the world as a “celebration of life.” As part of the celebration, participants throw colored, scented powder at each other and in the air, showering all of the participants in a blanket of color.

According to Vrindavana Das, the festival organizer, “Although it has a root in religion, the festival is not a religious festival, but a festival for everyone – all classes of people from different backgrounds are invited to join us in this celebration of life.” “It’s a festival for people who want to enjoy their life and share love for each other.”

As my family and I made our way into the event, we were greeted by a sea of humanity smeared in the colors of the rainbow. My son immediately grabbed a bag of colored powder and went to work bombarding everyone around. We made our way to the stage area, where the bands were playing, and as I scanned the crowd, I noticed that it was a delightful mix of young and old, the rich and not-so-rich, hippies and yuppies, devotees and non-devotees, all laughing and smiling while dancing to the music.

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