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A color-soaked celebration in Farmington

You probably shouldn’t wear your Sunday best to this weekend’s Holi celebration.

Clouds of colored powder will serve as an early sign of spring this weekend, even if they’re likely to leave behind more than a few Technicolor snowdrifts.

The colors will fly Sunday as part of Minnesota Hindu Milan Mandir’s recognition of Holi, a religious festival held each year to welcome spring.

If there’s one idea that should appeal to Minnesotans this winter, it’s that warmer weather is just around the corner.

“It’s a growing festival not only in Minnesota but in all the states,” said Satya Balroop, treasurer at Minnesota Hindu Milan Mandir, which has been in Farmington for about two years. “We’re really looking forward for this event to share the love and joy with the people of Minnesota so they can have a better understanding of what we’re all about.”

The Holi celebration at Minnesota Hindu Milan Mandir will feature music and dancing and food for sale, but the most recognizable part of Holi is the colors. With colored powders and colored water, Holi typically leaves participants looking like human Easter eggs, covered from head to toe in pastel shades.

Those colors represent the flowers and other life that is about to spring from the ground. They also serve to erase the differences of skin color and remind participants that they are more alike than they might think.

“It is a lot of fun,” Balroop said. “It’s a colorblind kind of festival where no one recognizes each other because you’re so colorful…. You forget everything that’s going on in your life and just enjoy the moment.”

This is the second year Minnesota Hindu Milan Mandir will hold a Holi celebration at its location in Farmington. The event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. in the parking lot at 501 Walnut St., assuming the weather cooperates. It is open to anyone who wants to attend. Balroop said last year’s event drew several people from the neighborhood who were curious to see what was going on.

Activities will take place continuously throughout the festival.

Balroop recommends against wearing anything that can’t get dirty.

“Don’t wear your best Sunday outfit,” she said. “We usually encourage people to wear white, because this way the colors are much lovelier.”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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