Students throw colored power at the 2019 CWRU Holi Festival

Holi is known as the “festival of colors” and celebrates the arrival of spring after a long winter. It is also a time for building relationships through play and laughter. Although primarily celebrated in India and Nepal, Holi is observed in many other countries throughout Southeast Asia and around the world.

The festival is celebrated by throwing colored powders and water at others. The colors used are culturally symbolic:

  • Red - union & purity
  • Pink - friendliness & happiness
  • Purple - devotion to self & spirit
  • Blue - power & passion
  • Green - vitality & rebirth
  • Yellow - sincerity & piety
  • Orange - strength & courage

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

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

2021 Holi Celebration Giveaway for Students

This year, the Center for International Affairs is celebrating Holi in a new way to help keep the Case Western Reserve University campus community safe and give our students an opportunity to prioritize their mental health. 

All Case Western Reserve students are invited to pick up one of our FREE Holi Celebration Packages on Friday, March 26 and Monday, March 29 at multiple locations across campus. As Holi is the "festival of colors", the packages will include:

  • Rangoli design coloring pages
  • Box of crayons
  • Candy
  • Information about Holi and how coloring is an effective mindfulness practice to support mental health

Case Western Reserve Students can pick up Holi Celebration Packages on Friday, March 26 and Monday, March 29 at the following locations:

  • Tomlinson Hall - Lobby
  • Nord Hall - 5th Floor
  • Tink - Sparta Center
  • Carlton Commons - Lower Dining Room
  • Leutner Commons - Dining Room

The packages will be laid out on tables in each location and students can just stop by and pick one up. 

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention in the present moment. With mindful coloring, you can draw your attention to the present moment through coloring-in a design. By engaging in this practice, you can enjoy benefits including:

  • Lower stress & anxiety levels
  • Some much-needed brain relief through lowering the activity of the amygdala – the part of our brain that controls emotion
  • Greater focus, which can help build our focusing skills in other areas too, such as studying
  • Increased creativity, which can increase our ability to creatively problem-solve
  • Enhanced sense of compassion

To learn more about the benefits of coloring as a mindfulness practice, visit the links below:

University Health & Counseling Services offers 24/7 counselors on call for all enrolled Case Western Reserve students.

Students can call 216.368.5872 anytime to speak with a counselor or schedule an appointment.

In addition, CWRU Care provides access to 24/7 virtual mental health support - known as TalkNow - as well as Scheduled Counseling.

Students can enroll at cwru.care

For more information on all services and programs offered through University Health & Counseling Services visit its website: https://case.edu/studentlife/healthcounseling

We realize not all of our students are on campus this semester and able to pick up a coloring package. However, we still want any students who are learning remotely to be able to take advantage of mindful coloring in celebration of Holi!

Here are links to the coloring designs included in the packages from SuperColoring.com that you can download and print from home:

Next year, we are hopeful we will be able to celebrate Holi with our annual event on Freiberger Field that features lots of colored powder, Indian street food, water games, badminton, cricket, music, and traditions associated with Holi!