New festival in Downtown Eugene ushers in the spring | News

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New Indian Celebrations in Downtown Eugene usher in the Spring

EUGENE, Ore. — Spring is here and in Downtown Eugene, a very colorful celebration took place to mark the start of the new season. 

The “Holi” celebration is a traditional Indian festival. It is meant to mark the beginning of spring time and is seen as an opportunity for people to release all their inhibitions and start fresh. It has been celebrated in India and in South Asia for centuries and it’s rooted in Indian mythology. The festival is mentioned in poems as early as the fourth century.

Colored Dye at the celebrations

The City of Eugene’s Cultural Services Department played a part in bringing the celebration to the downtown Famers Market Pavilion. Kate Ali, public art manager in the department, said one of the reasons it was brought here was because it’s a great way for a community to come together. The event is geared to help people know the Farmer’s Market Pavilion in Downtown is welcoming to everyone, no matter what culture, she said.

“This is a great opportunity to bring in this Indian festival, highlight it and give it some love,” she said. 

People covered in Dye

The celebrations began at 5 p.m. with lots of music, dancing and food. DJ Prashant of Bollywood Entertainment emceed the event.

Everyone was encouraged to dress in white for the culminating event. At 6 p.m., everyone threw bags of powdered dye into the air. All the plain shirts were bathed in beautiful colors reminiscent of the colors that come with spring.

People in the thick of it

Monica Malhotra said the celebration of Holi in Downtown Eugene was a great experience for her and her family, and looks forward to doing it again next year.

“Fun as you can see, a very fun event,” Malhotra said. “Everybody’s so joyful it’s the start of Spring, so it’s a celebration of Spring. The triumph of good over evil so it’s an event of fun and friendship.”

New festival in Downtown Eugene ushers in the spring | News

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