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New York: Holi- the Indian festival of colors- is arriving (March 23). New York and New Jersey are home a large concentration of Asian Indians: the estimates suggest that there are close to 700 thousand (7 Lakh) Indians in these 2 states. And then of course there are close to 250 thousand (2.5 Lakh) Indo-Caribbeans in New York. They are from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, tracing their ancestry to East India. Thus, there is over a 1 million (10 Lakh) strong Indian diaspora in New York and New Jersey. If you include the population of Indians in neighboring Connecticut, the number swells up further.

Naturally, Indians are gearing up for the festival this year as well. The festival is a significant one to the Hindus across the world, hence, it is celebrated in high spirit among Hindu Americans also.


For thousands of years now, Hindus in India and all over the world have celebrated Holi as the victory of good over evil, and as the renewal of the agricultural seasons.

Local celebrations vary, and abundant use of color can be seen among people.

To make their Holi more colorful, here are the two events, which attract huge crowds every year, and which an Indian in New York must not miss. This is not to say that there are no other celebrations planned. Typically, Indians celebrate festivals through their temples and congregations.

28th Annual Phagwah Parade in Richmond Hill, New York

Celebrating Holi 2016 on March 26, 2016.

A joint Parade under the sponsorship of the founders- Arya Spiritual Center, the Hindu Parades and Festivals Committee, and The Federation of Hindu Mandirs.

The Phagwah Parade in Richmond Hill, Queens, is the biggest celebration in North America. If it’s a warm day, a turnout of as many as 25,000 may be witnessed.

Phagwah, or Holi, is the Indo-Caribbean Hindu celebration of the New Year.

Indicating the arrival of spring, Phagwah literally paints the streets as kids and families “color” one another with dye (abrac) and powder, chasing away the winter grays. The Carnival is celebrated with high-spirit.

For more information about the event, click here.

History of Phagwah:

In Guyana and Surinam, Phagwah became an important national holiday, and everyone had the day off from work.

Since the 1970s, many Guyanese have immigrated to the United States, especially to areas of Richmond Hill and Jamaica in Queens. As a result, they brought the Phagwah tradition to their new homes.

New York’s Holi event ‘Rang Barse’ is back with a colorful splash!

In keeping with the tradition, Rang Barse will once again be held for the ninth year in a row. The event takes place on a ship that will set sail from Pier 40 this year.

It is one of the most colorful and fun-filled Holi party set to happen on March 26 in Hornblower Pier 40, New York.

Every year, people filled with enthusiasm are seen painted in reds, yellows, greens, and pinks, and enjoying the Indian Festival of colors in style with food, drinks, and the amazing beats of DJs.

Dance performances are also conducted.

This is a unique cultural experience which is hard to miss.

For more information about the event, click here.


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