University of Cincinnati is a multicultural place with a lot of unique celebrations throughout the year. I am from India and something that I thought I would really miss about my home is the festivals and fun of it all. All of the festivals are community-oriented where I get to meet a lot of new people.
In an academic year, which starts in mid-August, the first festival according to the Indian calendar is Navratri. It is a festival of dance consisting of fancy outfits and garba. Garba is a style of dance which was originally performed in the western region of the Indian subcontinent and where people go around dancing in circles. Different parts of the country have regional variations, but it is mainly about devoting 9 days of the year to a Goddess who is known to destroy the evil. At UC, the South Asian Student Organization booked Great Hall in the Tangeman University Center, where we prayed and danced all together. Navratri was celebrated on October 4th, 2019.
The next festival which comes just a while after Navratri is Diwali. Diwali is the festival of lights celebrated in the entire country where the whole family gets together and celebrates the return of an Indian god with firecrackers and sweets. At UC, everyone wore new traditional outfits and got together in the great hall for a prayer and sweets. It was just a fun time when we try to forget our differences and celebrate the gods who make the earth a better place. Diwali was October 15th, 2019.
Finally, in the early spring semester, we celebrate the festival of Holi. It is the festival of vibrant colors and so much funnn! We use dry powdered colors to celebrate the victory of good over evil. The campus green space called Sigma Sigma Commons is used to celebrate Holi and everyone is invited. Holi was March 7th, 2020.