Clouds of color, sounds of music, rhythms of dance, and tastes of special cuisine!


‘Holi Hai’ in New York!

New York State Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar’s official invitation to join her in Holi celebrations across the boroughs. PHOTO: Courtesy Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar’s office.

Holi, the festival of color, is being celebrated around New York City on different dates at different places. Through all these celebrations, runs a common thread of joy at the arrival of the Spring season, of forget and forgiving, and of universal love and friendship.

The Hindu festival has taken international fancy in recent years, mainly as part of the festival of Hindu Indians settled in different countries. In the U.S., especially in New York, Holi is an annual celebration for children and adults alike, with celebrations at the local temples, clubs, senior centers, and public places. The Caribbean Indian Phagwah parade and fair is a much looked forward to event for New Yorkers.

New York’s elected officials also hold Holi celebrations with people of their constituencies. Foremost among these officials is the first Hindu and woman, Jennifer Rajkumar. Rajkumar is participating in various Holi celebrations across New York.

Rajkumar will grace the famous annual Phagwah Parade and celebrations which will be held this year on Sunday, April 7, 2024 in the Phil Rizzuto Park in the area known as Little Guyana in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York. The annual event organized by the Federation of Hindu Mandirs, Inc. and Arya Spiritual Center, Inc, is one of the most participated events. Rajkumar will address the gathering and participate in the parade this year. Last year, Rajkumar was the Grand Marshal of the parade, riding her red open-roof car in her signature red clothes.

Rajkumar participated in the Seaport Museum Holi celebrations Sunday, March 24, 2024, hosted and co-organized by the Culture Tree. This annual event in NYC, included an interactive paintball mural, dance workshops, delicious food tasting, art activity, a puppet storytime, music by DJ Magic Mike and, playing with colored powder. Powdered colors and authentic Indian Holi food could be purchased at the outdoor Indian market at Pier 16 featuring nearly a dozen Indian owned-businesses.

Rajkumar attended another Holi event organized by the India Association of Long Island Sunday, March 24, 2024, at the Asa’Mai Hindu Temple in Hicksville. She will also be part of the Holi event in Bronx, NY, organized March 31, 2024, by the Vishnu Mandir Temple. Rajkumar’s Holi participation continues till the end of April, with her personal participation at both the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queen’s event on April 18, 2024 and the Holi on the Esplahnade event in Staten Island on April 28, 2024.

Since being elected to the NY State Assembly, Rajkumar has taken up causes of New York’s Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain population, supporting Bills and Resolutions supporting them, including NY Public School holiday for Diwali.

In an official statement sent out by her office, Rajkumar said the festival of Holi symbolized the diversity and vibrancy of New York’s Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain communities. Throwing colors at each other is ‘a sign of our everlasting love and affection’, Rajkumar said.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards with young performers at the annual Holi celebrations hosted by him Monday, March 18, 2024. PHOTO: Courtesy Queens Borough President Donovan Richards’ office.

Another city official, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, hosted a Holi or Phagwah celebration at the Borough Hall March 18, 2024. Attended by over 150 representative community members, the event featured an address to the gathering and recognition and presentation of awards to six local community leaders for their exceptional work. The evening’s celebrations included dance and music recitals and a dinner featuring traditional Holi dishes.

A full-day Public Holi celebration at Piers 16 and 17 at the South Street Seaport Square in Manhattan has become an annual event which attracts all New Yorkers to its cultural performances, its play with colored powders and its variety of delicious Indian food. This year’s event on March 24, 2024, included colored powder play in which all could participate, followed by a performance by students of Shehnaaz Dance Academy. Dance and drum Holi  performances by Meha Sadana, Anjali Akula and Dholi Amit of Premier Drummers, followed by a dance workshop, were the highlight of the event.

New York’s museums including the South Street Seaport Museum have also been holding Holi celebrations. Chief among these are the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights which will hold a full day event on April 6, 2024, and the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea which will hold an afternoon event on March 31, 2024.

New York’s Public Libraries have been organizing educational and recreational Holi events for the past few years. The Queens Public Library at Baisley Park on Sutphin Boulevard organized a ‘Crafternoon: Holi Bubble Painting’ event in the evening of Monday, March 25, 2024.  The 53rd Street Midtown Library also held ‘Celebrate Holi at NYPL: Bilingual Puppet Storytime, Face Painting, and Art Activity event on Monday, March 25, 2024.

The festival of Holi was also celebrated in New York’s temples. The Ganesh Temple in Flushing celebrated Holi with Sri Krishna Abhishekam, Sahastranaam Pooja and an Aarati on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The Broome Street Ganesha Temple in Tribeca will organize a ‘Kid’s Holi – Aarti and Celebration’ Holi event hosted by The Culture Tree on March 30, 2024.



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