(iskconnews.org) – Photo Courtesy of Jai Krishna Das
It is famously said that “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night” can stop the US Postal Service from delivering mail, but it’s also the devotional mood of devotee pioneers HG Caru Das and HG Vaibhavi Devi Dasi when it comes to putting on festivals in a state with a “challenging” climate.
When weather reports predicted snow and cold on the day of the legendary Festival of Colors at the Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah, this year, Caru took the optimistic approach, “The Festival of Colors has been held ‘rain or shine’ for 28 years continuously,” Caru remarked. “Some of the best, most fun times have been had in rain and snow. It’s a messy event anyway, so what’s the problem? Going to be cold? That’s why we dance!”
This contagious spirit inspires the dozens of devotees who help put this event on annually. HG Mukunda Das, a Salt Lake City educator said, “No matter the weather, people come. While the numbers were a little less, and the temperatures cold; the gathering was as warm and large as ever,” he said with a smile. “After all, how could it not be big and filled with warmth when all the speaking was singing, and all the movement was dancing?”
Utah residents have also appreciated this upbeat attitude, and despite freezing temperatures, around 6,500 people showed up for the weekend. Multiple news media outlets reported on the festival, which has become iconic in Utah Valley and beyond. Last year, around 20,000 attended in near-perfect weather.
When the festival first began almost three decades ago, it was regarded as the “unofficial spring break event” for Brigham Young University students, another icon in Utah Valley, with an enrollment of over 35,000. “Now festival goers are about 50% young people and 50% young families,” Caru noted. Several dozen llamas, miniature cows, and exotic birds at the property are also big draws for families year-round. In fact, Pedro, their colorful blue and gold macaw, was even part of a live interview promoting the festival on Fox 31’s “Good Day Utah” program.