The New Brunswick Free Public Library will be celebrating its 9th annual Indian Holi Festival on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the library’s Carl T. Valenti Community Room. The performances will begin after remarks by Mr. Upendra J. Chivukula, Commissioner of New Jersey Board of Public Utility.

Holi is an exuberant festival of colors usually celebrated in the month of March. Originally called Holika, Holi is meant to be a festival that brings people together. Meeting and greeting friends and relatives and exchanging sweets and gifts are integral parts of Holi.

The celebration will begin at 1:00 p.m. with Mehndi, the Indian henna tattoo that is applied to the hands. This is a temporary tattoo that plays varied roles in Indian culture. After henna is applied and dries off, it leaves an ornate, brownish orange design which will stay on for a few days. From 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., there will be a display of regional dresses, an Indian jewelry display, children’s activities, a free raffle, and music & dance performances by Rutgers students, Navarang Dance Academy and Kalyanni Performing Arts Education. In addition, a variety of Indian food and delicacies will be provided for sampling. At the end of the program, Holi color play (throwing colored powder) will take place on the library’s front lawn (weather permitting). If you want to participate in color play, please understand that we will be unable to have you back inside the library building. Also, be sure to wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty! Please come and join us for this wonderful, family-friendly community event, which is free and open to the public.

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This program has been organized in conjunction with the Rutgers Indian Graduate Students Association (RIGSA), Rutgers Hindu Students Council and the South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI). RIGSA organizes a number of social gatherings and cultural shows each semester. SATHI is a program based out of UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School for improving the health and well-being of the South Asian community. 

The food for this program has been generously donated by Bollywood Tadka Restaurant in East Brunswick, Delhi Garden Indian Restaurant in Edison, Shalimar Halal Gyro Grill in New Brunswick, Cakewalk Indian Bakery & Café in North Brunswick and Mirchi Restaurant in North Brunswick. Other program sponsors are New Brunswick Cultural Center Inc., Indo- American Festivals Inc., Taalim School of Indian Music and Music Souls. This event will be covered by TV ASIA, WRSU 88.7 FM Rutgers Radio, and WWRL 1600 AM Radio Zindagi South Asian’s Voice. 

Funding provided in part by Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, The Folklife Program for New Jersey, New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information on the library and library events, please visit www.nbfpl.org. For more information about this event, please contact librarian Kavita Pandey at 732-745-5108 x20 or kavita@lmxac.org.