Honoring its commitment to creating a culture in which diversity and inclusion are integral to everyday operations, the Summit Area Y is pleased to be hosting the Holi Color Festival for its second year!

The Holi Festival, an ancient Hindu religious holiday, is about good triumphing over evil! It also represents the beginning of spring, the joy of friendship and equality for all. According to an article by Max Benwell from the Independent the holiday draws on the legend of Radha and Krishna. Krishna loved Radha, but felt self-conscious about how different their skin-colors were. So on the advice of his mother, he went and playfully painted her face so it was the same color as his. Today, people all over the world celebrate this holiday in much of the same way -- Children douse elders with water, women splash men with color while dancing, singing and feasting.

Each color also carries a meaning. Red symbolizes love and fertility; yellow is the color of turmeric, a powder native to India and used as a natural remedy; blue represents the Hindu God Krishna; and green is for new beginnings.

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The Y encourages all nationalities and ethnicities to participate in this highly energetic and fun color festival held on the Village Green in Summit (Broad Street between Maple and Summit Avenue) on Saturday June 2, 2018 from 11:00 am – 2:00. There will be a host of traditional activities including Masala Bhangra Dancing, a DJ playing Bollywood Music, and the signature event-- the throwing of color! We will be using Gulal, a non-toxic colored power made from corn starch/rice flour, which is eco-friendly and biodegradable. Delicious Indian food will also be available for purchase.

This is a free event but colors are available for purchase. Also, dressing in white is recommended. For more information, please contact Urvashi Patel (E) urvashi.patel@thesay.org (P) 908.273. 4270 ext. 3302 or visit www.thesay.org/holi

The Holi Color Festival is part of the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation (DIG) Network in which the Summit Area YMCA belongs. DIG is committed to providing programs, events and services to the community that are welcoming to people from all nationalities, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. The Summit Area YMCA and DIGS collaborated on several special events this year including a Diwali Festival in November, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Community in January and the Lunar New Year Festival in February. To learn more about the DIGS network and what it does, go to http://www.thesay.org/DIGS

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About the Summit Area YMCA

The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.theSAY.org/give.