Friday, April 10, 2015

New York City Rings In Spring With Food, Colors And Dance

New York City rings in spring with food, colors and dance

This year's winter weather in New York City will come to an end at 11AM on May 2nd with a burst of Spring colors as NYC Bhangra presents its 6th Annual 'Holi Hai!' festival.
Holi Hai! is hosted annually by NYC Bhangra, an Indian dance company and school, and is a volunteer run outdoor festival for the whole family. It brings the Indian spring festival of Holi (festival of colors) to midtown Manhattan. Holi is a celebration that dates back many centuries to Indian mythology. During Holi, colorful powders of red, green, purple, orange, and more, are smeared on each other in a playful manner to celebrate Spring. Seema Gulati, an NYC Bhangra volunteer, recalls, "Volunteering for Holi Hai! allowed me to make new friends with people I wouldn't always come across and build lasting memories." The event draws volunteers from various walks of life, from doctors and teachers to engineers and students.
Traditionally, everyone comes dressed in old, comfortable white clothes, intended to be discarded as they act as a canvas for the colorful artwork that eventually drapes them. "New and previous attendees are always surprised at the events openness. There is no other Holi celebration in New York City that is free to the public, and draws over 10,000 participants," NYC Bhangra CEO, Megha Kalia explains. "Our goal each year for Holi Hai! is to make it the happiest Holi celebration in New York and the blissful day of smiles of the audience is our success." Some Holi veterans try to be artful dodgers as they play and aim to see who can keep their clothes white the longest.
NYC Bhangra will have a stage of dance performances and a DJ mixing the best of New York Holi's dance music that definitely satisfies the energized crowd. Vendors will sell Indian food, soda and water, henna art, Indian desserts and sweets, and of course an abundance of colored Holi powders.
This year's 6th Annual Holi Hai! will take place as usual, at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue) from 11AM-6PM. The plaza can be accessed from the 6 Train, the E/M Trains, or walking from Grand Central Station.

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