Holi Festival

On Sunday, April 7, the International Cultures Club (ICC), a student organization that began in the 2023-2024 school year under the leadership of sophomore Adwita Thorat, hosted PV’s first Holi festival. In the field by Thomas J. Keenan stadium, students and community members gathered in shared exuberance and anticipation for the day’s festivities — which, for many, were entirely new experiences.

“I have never attended [a Holi event] before,” junior and ICC member Candela Madarieta said. “I’m most excited to throw the colored powders.” 

Also known as the Festival of Colors, Holi is a Hindu holiday celebrating the beginning of the spring season and starting anew. The notable array of colored powders that friends and families throw on one another displays the vibrancy and beauty of the changing seasons and lush growth. Across the world, Holi festivals typically take place throughout the month surrounding the official date when masses of people join together in city streets forming a sea of bright colors.

“This is actually my favorite holiday ever. [My family and I] go to one or two of these events every year,” Adwita Thorat said.

Through the International Cultures Club, Thorat is passionate about introducing underrepresented holidays and celebrations to PV students and community members. The months leading up to the event consisted of coordinating with Bharatiya Temple and the PV school administration, decorating the high school building and purchasing colored powder packets, water balloons and Indian street food to be sold at the event. After rain and adverse weather conditions caused the cancellation of the original date, the festival finally took place on April 7.

“I was hoping for a lot more people,” Thorat said. “Because the event got pushed because of the weather, we lost some people.” 

Though the gathering was more intimate than anticipated, the day’s activities were still just as exciting as promised. Between rounds of color-throwing, students, soaked to the bone with skin turned an assortment of colors, sat together enjoying rose milk, samosas and Bombay sandwiches. 

Of those in attendance, counselor and ICC adviser Mrs. Conlan brought her two daughters who raced around with smiles spread across their faces and color in their hair tossing water balloons with high school students – showing how learning about new cultures can be both informative and fun.

“I just wanted to celebrate more of the diversity among students in the district,” counselor and ICC adviser Mrs. Conlan said when asked what encouraged her to assume the adviser position.

The day’s success has encouraged the International Cultures Club to host the event annually in addition to honoring other holidays, marking the growing appreciation of the cultural diversity at PV.