SPANISH FORK — In a cloud of color that in 2011 made national headlines, the Hare Krishnas celebrated on Saturday and Sunday the annual Holi Fest, commonly known as the Festival of Colors.
Thousands gathered at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Lotus Temple in Spanish Fork as bands led the crowd in the Maha Mantra: "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."
As it is celebrated at the Lotus Temple, it is meant to be a celebration of shared life — neither religious or secular; it is a gathering of people united in their desire to celebrate the coming of spring.
Thousands gathered on a hill on the east side of the temple. Traditionally the majority of revelers have been BYU students, but as the festival has grown in popularity, it has seen a large increase in visitors from other colleges and even from other states.
The festival was celebrated at the temple with two days of brightly colored, organic powder, mantra and music. Every two hours saw a unified "color throwing," where brightly colored chalk is thrown into the air in a tradition dating back thousands of years in India.
Revelers were reminded that the ceremony was a testimony "to the fact that God loves variety" — regardless of which God they served.
"No two of us are the same, just as we are now all different hues of orange and yellow, blue and green," the announcer said "We're all in this together."