Celebrate the Festival of Colors with Us!

The entire campus community and the public are invited to attend Case Western Reserve University's free Holi celebration each spring. The event features lots of colored powder, Indian street food, water games, badminton, cricket, music, and traditions associated with Holi and the Basant Kite Festival! 

Check back for information about Case Western Reserve's 2021 celebration!

What is Holi?

The festival celebrates the arrival of spring and thanksgiving for a good harvest. Holi is also a day for building relationships through play and laughter.

Known as the "festival of colors", Holi celebrations consist of throwing colored powders and waters at others. In addition, special food and drink are consumed throughout the day. The variety of colors used in Holi celebrations is culturally symbolic.

Although primarily celebrated in India and Nepal, Holi is observed in many other countries throughout Southeast Asia and around the world.

During the celebration in areas where Holi is widely observed, anyone on the street could be fair game for color from head to toe, but in houses and doorways, only the face is smeared with color.

Originally, the colors were made from Neem, Kumkum, Haldi and Bilva—medicinal herbs which were simultaneously used in the playful festival as a means of preventing springtime ailments.

Today, many events have been inspired by Holi's colorful festivities including the Color Run 5K and the Festival of Colors Music Tour.

What is the Basant Kite Festival?

CWRU's Holi event also features another celebration of spring: the Basant Festival of Kites. It is also known as Basant Panchami, Vasant Panchami, Saraswati Puja or Shree Panchami. 

Basant Panchami is a time for families to gather together and spend the day flying kites. The Basant Kite Festival in Pakistan is celebrated in Lahore where a huge crowd participates in kite flying competitions.

Want to learn more? Check out the Kelvin Smith Library's Holi and Basant Kite Festival Resource Guide.