Lacey festival celebrates Indian culture

The annual Holi celebration held at Lacey’s Rainier Vista Park is a great way for Indian children to learn about their culture, said Krishna Kumar.

It’s a way for those who grew up in India to share traditions, to pass on practices to a new generation.

“The new generation isn’t doing as much to practice our culture here,” Kumar said. “So this is a medium for them to participate.”

Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

At the Saturday event, about 50 people gathered to play games, dance and eat. People ran through the grass tossing colored powder on each other — coating their faces, hair and clothing.

“Each color has its own importance,” Kumar said. “The goal is to mix them all together.”

Kumar explained that mixing the colors together is a symbol for tolerance and equality. Like the colors, each person is different, he said.

The Holi celebration, also called the Festival of Colors, begins the festival season in Indian culture, said Sayali Kulkarni. It comes soon after the new year in the Indian calendar.

In India, people traditionally visit neighbors to coat them in color.

“The main purpose of this day is to show our children what we did in India,” Kulkarni said.