Brothers’ Recreation Ground was a rainbow of colors as celebrants came together to celebrate Phagwa, the festival of colors in Trinidad last Sunday March 12.
It was the 21st annual Phagwa celebration of the Williamsville Festivals Committee. Scores of participants, mainly children and teenagers, smeared one another with gulal or colored powder- red, orange, green, blue and yellow. Abir, colored liquid, was also sprayed liberally by celebrants with pumps on one another.
Entertainment was provided by a DJ and live performances by Jairaj Singh and Kenneth Supersad, Trinidad and Tobago’s leading comedian and vocalist. Kenneth, very skillfully, engaged the children in his performances.
Also providing entertainment was Jairaj Singh of Mandingo Road, Princes Town. No stranger to Phagwa in Williamsville, Jairaj has been a fixture in the celebration for the past fifteen years.
Two key organizers of the event, Radhay Lochandas and Pandit Vigyan Dharamdas of the Yoga Vidya Ashram of Garth Road, Williamsville, were at hand to provide children with free gulal and snacks.
“I want to convey our committee’s sincere thanks to the many who have assisted in providing the resources for the program,” said Radhay Lochan Dass who was the chairman of this year’s Phagwa celebrations. “I want to thank the Chairman and the Councilors of the Princes Town Corporation for once again making available the venue.”
Phagwa is a major festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is a triumph of the youth Prahalad over his evil and malicious father, King Hiranyakashipu who denounced Bhagwan Vishnu as the Highest and declared himself as only worthy of worship. Prahalad’s devotion resulted in the manifestation of Bhagwan Vishnu as Lord Narasingh – half lion and half man- and the destruction of the evil Harankashipu when the latter threatened the life of Bhagwan Vishnu’s devotee, thus reaffirming the commitment of Bhagwan to protect the welfare of his beloved devotee.
.Hirankashipu is symbolic of the negative forces that strive to manipulate and deceive the population. The resistance if Prahalad, a mere lad, against the tyranny of his father is a lesson of hope for all of humanity who at times feels overwhelmed by superior forces working against their wellbeing. Moreover, Pandit Satyanand Maharaj of Bhakti TV has identified the resistance of Prahalad as the Power of One, that is, while others have succumbed to might and tyranny, the faith of a single individual can change the course of human history.
Phagwa or Holi is among the increasing soft power of India as it rises to take its rightful place on the global stage. Several foreign dignitaries joined with their Indian counterparts including the Prime Minister of Australia to celebrate Phagwa. The Indian national cricket team was also captured celebrating the festival