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Holi. Festival of Colors

Every year the Hare Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah puts on the biggest Holi (festival of colors) celebration in the Western Hemisphere. In 2011 the Spanish Fork Police department estimated that over 40,000 people attended in the first day alone of the two-day festival. Organizers carefully rationed their stash of approximately 120,000 bags of colored powder.

Participants come from all over the country (and some from abroad), but the majority of attendees for the Festival of Colors are students from Brigham Young, Utah Valley, and Utah universities.

The Holi Festival of Colors celebrates the triumph of good over evil and ushers in the spring season. The festival commemorates a Hindu myth about a witch, Holika, who burned children in a fire. One child repeated the Hare Krishna mantra as he was carried into the flames and the witch was burned instead. At the Spanish Fork festival, rock and roll, R&B, and other modern interpretations of the mantra are played by musicians throughout the day and chanted in a call and response game between performers and attendees. The main event of each festival is the coordinated throwing of colored powder, when the sky above the crowd is filled with rainbow puffs of dye.