Hundreds of Elon community members celebrated the Hindu festival of Holi

The Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life hosted the festival on Friday, March 24.

Close to 150 students, faculty and staff members participated in the annual Elon celebration of Holi, the springtime Hindu Festival of Colors, which took place on Friday, March 24.

The attendees gathered on a tarp on the grass at Speaker’s Corner, learned about the Hindu holiday, and at the countdown, flung handfuls of brightly colored power up into the blue sky.

The Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life has marked Holi on campus since 2012 to honor the Hindu community on campus, and also as part of its mission to educate about the different religious, spiritual and ethical traditions at Elon.

Students pose together during Holi celebration on Elon's campus. “I feel it is important to celebrate Indian festivals at Elon because they help all of us forget our cultural differences and make us come together for the sole purpose of happiness, togetherness and celebration,” shared Shriya Baru, ’24. “It also helps all the students and faculty to get a taste of Indian culture.”

The Holi celebration brought together students of all faith backgrounds and identities, as they were united by the brightly colored power that they tossed on one another to the sound of Bollywood music. The color throwing was preceded by a dance from Surtal, Elon’s Bollywood Dance Group, and words from Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Education Srikant Vallabhajosula.

Multifaith interns Clara Watkins ’25 and Jasmine Walker ’25 took the lead on planning the festival this year, and they hoped to create a fun atmosphere in which attendees also learned something about Hindu culture and religious traditions.

“Being able to help plan Holi this year was very special to me. It was amazing to see everyone so happy and thrilled to learn more about this beautiful Festival of Colors,” shared Walker. “I also want to thank the Truitt Center staff and all the volunteers who worked together to create such a beautiful event.”

“It is so wonderful to see our community come together to celebrate one another, and celebrate diversity,” said Hillary Zaken, interim assistant dean of Multifaith Engagement, “The Truitt Center works to create experiential opportunities to engage with community, meaning and purpose, which is one way we promote holistic wellness on campus.”

Participants in the Holi celebration left Speaker’s Corner covered with color, enriched by the educational content and ready to enjoy a beautiful spring weekend.