235. Holi (Gaura Purnima) in Toronto

Elephant God at Vishnu Mandir Temple. Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy.

On Wednesday March 7 or Thursday, March 8, Toronto Hindus will be celebrating the festival of Holi, Gaura Purnima. It is a religious festival. It commemorates the appearance in India of an incarnation of Lord Krishna in 1486. Festivals are ideal times to visit many Hindu temples as you can watch a lot of rituals performed. Worshippers will be dressed in gorgeous Indian clothes.

At the Hare Krishna Temple, festivities start at 6pm on Thursday and continue to 9:30pm. It will include chanting, feasting, and dancing. Go, if only for the great vegetarian food served at the end. It’s free.

The Vishnu Mandir is celebrating on Wednesday, March 7 from 6:30pm. It will also have a Holi market from noon to about 5pm on Sunday, March 11, with clothing, jewellery and food for sale. It will be raffling a car that day too.

In India we had to be careful what we wore. Even strangers would come along and throw coloured water and powder on us. In Toronto, I haven’t found any place where this happens. The Hare Krishna Temple says it’s too hard to clean up so they ask people not to bring colours.

For a report of last year’s Holi festival at the Hare Krishna Temple, click on: http://bit.ly/y8HN8M. It is at 243 Avenue Road. Tel. 416-922-5415. Rosedale subway station. Its web-site is: http://iskcontoronto.blogspot.com/.

For reports on our visits to the Vishnu Mandir which is at 8640 Yonge St., see: http://bit.ly/yACkBP and http://bit.ly/A6TMjX. On my last visit this week, the owner told me its museum was being renovated and would be open in four weeks. I was allowed to take one picture.

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