What does the burning of an effigy and throwing colors into the air equate to? The festival of colors held at the Krishna temple in Spanish Fork, of course.
Hindus, natives of India, and a whole lot of Utah County folk threw hundreds of bags of colored chalk into the air, celebrating the spring season and the victory of good over evil.
The throwing commenced just after the burning of an effigy and lasted 15 minutes, creating a massive, kaleidoscopic explosion of colors that enveloped the whole crowd surrounding the temple. Though it may seem unorthodox, the throwing of colors actually symbolizes equality between everyone, regardless of skin color.
Every year the event attracts more people. So many people showed up this year, in fact, that some had to park over a mile away.
"It was pretty cool. Definitely the most rocking religious fest I’ve been to," said Orem resident Michelle Wilson, who attended with some friends. "Definitely a different way to welcome in spring. Everyone just seemed so happy."
Attendees were also allowed to enter the Krishna Temple, so long as they took off their shoes for reverence. Inside, behind glass, were statues of Hindu gods. Several devout followers were also inside worshipping.
Even if the parking was inconvenient for some, it didn’t deter anyone from enjoying the festival. The crowd was packed like sardines around the temple, and engaged in loud revelry throughout, even after the colors were thrown.
Dancing and music on a nearby stage were also important parts of the festival. Some particularly enthused attendees even crowd-surfed. Once it was time to leave, everyone who fully participated was inevitably doused in a number of colored chalks. Normally this would be a nuisance, but on this occasion it engendered a sense of unity — not to mention good memories. All of this and the backdrop of the beautiful Krishna Temple constituted a trip worth making.
The event was free and open to everybody regardless of his or her beliefs. Many in attendance were delighted to be a part of promoting religious diversity in the community. "It was definitely memorable and cool to experience a different religious atmosphere, and be a part of it even if it is not my religion," Wilson said.
For more information on the festival of colors, the Krishna temple and Hinduism, go to http://www.utahkrishnas.com/main/home.asp?rnd=226346