Celebrating Holi 2024

In a celebration of spring, hundreds of students gathered on College Green.

A group of students with colored powder on them at Holi
Hundreds of students came out to celebrate Holi on College Green.

Hundreds of students gathered on College Green on April 5th to celebrate Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors that signifies the start of spring. “Culturally, it’s a celebration of love, spring, and goodness,” said Ashrit Challa, a third-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences from Dayton, Ohio. “It’s a great way for us to be able to celebrate with the larger Penn community, especially those who might not share the same culture but are still students here with us.”

Challa is co-president of the Penn Hindu & Jain Association, which hosted the event. To prepare, the Association ordered 800 pounds of colored powder, which was delivered to the Office of the Chaplain and the Office of Student Affairs before being divvied up in plastic bags.

At the Holi event, students lined up to receive white T-shirts—all the better to see that colored power—before watching hip-hop fusion from Penn Hype and South Asian dance fusion performances Penn Raas, PENNaach, Penn Masti, and Penn Dhamaka.


As the Penn Hindu & Jain Association distributed the bags of colorful powder, Challa asked everyone to wait for the countdown, but wafts of billowing blue, purple, pink, orange, yellow, and green began to cloud the air.

When Challa finally gave the go-ahead, it was no-holds-barred, with people sprinkling friends and dashing between strangers, or just throwing the entire bag into the air, then coming back for more. With 800 pounds of powder, there was more than enough. “It’s like human fireworks,” one student said.

“We always love seeing how many people show up to Holi,” Challa said. “It’s just a really great feeling getting to see people celebrate together and enjoy the day.”