By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Colors were certainly flying high this past Sunday at the Holi and Eid Celebration event hosted by the Indian Community of Needham (ICON). While Holi is usually celebrated in March, members of ICON decided to combine these two holidays to make the celebration even bigger. Local community members packed the Senior Center at the Center at the Heights to enjoy food, music, dancing, and Holi colors.
ICON was founded back in 2019 by a group of like-minded Indian-Americans living within the Needham community. Sakina Saif-Mulla, Co-Chair of the Social Committee, went on to state, “We [ICON] are a secular, non-profit organization aimed at celebrating and preserving the culture and heritage of India and surrounding South Asian countries. We are a membership-based organization run by dedicated volunteers, and events, such as our flagship Diwali celebration in August, and other expanded programming, are supported by the membership cost.” On top of this, ICON regularly uses local sponsors, like that of Code Wiz, who was present at Sunday’s event.
Furthermore, Vipul Bhushan, Director of Community Engagement, stated, “The idea for ICON was to have a formal organization, a non-profit. We are all volunteers and our intention was to have a formal vehicle to sponsor and conduct events like this where we can do cultural advocacy, education, community engagement, and ofcourse social and cultural events. And that’s what all of these are for.”
Eid Ul-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar during which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. One of the ways in which they celebrate this holiday is by children accepting gifts and money from adults, called ‘Eidee.’ These types of gifts were passed out to children at the event which meant there were many happy faces enjoying their sweet treats.
Holi is referred to as the Festival of Colors and marks the beginning of spring as well as the victory of good over evil. In honor of this tradition, ICON members used vibrant colors in the form of dry powder to smear on one another. During this part of the celebration Dholi player, Navdeep, was playing his drum for those to dance around and truly celebrate.
To talk more about the significance of this event, Bala Muthukaruppan stated, “The message is the same, bringing people together in unity, really throwing away any inhibitions and coming together to celebrate one another with colors to welcome spring.” The rain certainly did not stop those who wanted to celebrate in this amazing celebration of Indian culture.