Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Festival of Colors

I went to the Festival of Colors at the Lotus Temple here in Spanish Fork this week. It's a festival where Krishnas celebrate the coming of the spring season. A crowd joins in a mantra and after a countdown throws colored powder into the air. 80,000 people showed up this year. It was a nightmare for traffic. You know that kid Pig Pen from Charley Brown who is surrounded by a cloud of dust wherever he goes? It was like 5 acres of that.

I will never go again.

Here's what else I learned: 

  1. If you plan on being there for a couple hours, triple that. 45 minutes will be spent at the event and the rest will be for travel time. And that's if you live 15 minutes away on a normal day.
  2. The vegetarian cuisine was questionably edible after left exposed to a fog of colored powder. (Though, I hear that it is REALLY delicious, and I plan on trying it on a non-festival day.)
  3. Teenagers and college-aged kids treat this festival like Woodstock. 
  4. Most check common courtesy at the gate and douse you with powder as you trudge toward the temple. (That part was fun tho. My single friend Trevor came with us, and it was interesting to see how flicking powder at someone became a flirtation device. Flick some powder at a cute girl; if she reciprocates, she's into you.)
  5. Once the novelty wears off, your kids will be bored, tired, hungry, and grouchy, and your allergies will demand that you get the hell out of there.(IF I ever go again, I'll not bring my kids at all.)
  6. If you pay for a shuttle, you'll likely have to walk miles back to your car with your 40 pound four-year-old on your back. Backwards...in three feet of snow. (only the last two details were bogus.)
  7. Wendy's will set up a communal shower with a hose and generic handsoap out on the lawn, and the sight of that hose after walking for an hour will make you giddy with anticipation.
  8. Spanish Fork is not equipped for the volumes of people who came.
  9. When you criticize the traffic around the event, people automatically think you are criticizing the religion, which is so not true. I hate bad traffic of all kinds, whether it be from football games, General Conference, car accidents, whatever. Traffic sucks. No one likes driving stop-and-go for hours. The message behind the festival was really cool. Celebrating spring is something I've done inwardly for years. It's the season of breaking out the sandals, shopping at Home Depot for garden supplies, and letting the kids ride bikes until it gets dark. I love this time of year. I love the idea of celebrating it with a Festival of Colors. I'd like to see it spread out over a week though, with one day designated for families. That'd cut down on the traffic and allow the people in attendance a chance to really enjoy themselves without the frustrations of a HUGE crowd.
  10. You'll get some good pictures and a pile of ruined clothing.

The 40 pound 4yo.

Thing is, I'm glad I did it once. You should do it at least once too. But don't bring your little kids, and don't ask me to babysit them, because I'll know I could be watching them for longer than it takes to watch the director's cut of Titanic. Twice. 

You can read this article to see what other people thought of it (click me).


  1. This is hilarious Rena! I like your perspective. I've never been, but I always saw pictures of BYU students at this place and they always looked annoyingly bubbly and super excited to be painted hot pink and orange. So, I guess I'm not so bummed that I missed it?

  2. My advice: Get your own packs of colored powder and have the festival in your own back yard. =)

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