Grace Lake Temple celebrates Holi with a difference

grace ake holika arati
Mangal Aarti by Temple priests

India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Many temples across Chicagoland celebrated the festival of Holi with huge religious fervor and lot of enthusiasm but the Grace Lake Hindu Temple in Lake country did it with a difference in that it uniquely tried to ingratiate the second generation Indian kids about the importance of Holi thru organizing a dance performance participated by 75 children.

The Saturday March 3 event saw children in three to four groups staging dance that is usually done in Mathura Vrindaban depicting Radha-Krishna and Gopis Raas. This over one hour performance was coordinated by Ms Neera Dhon and was highly appreciated by all those present. It turned out to be a theme based unique feature of nearly four hours of celebration at the temple.
The number of devotees or participants in the festival of Holi and Dhuleti was close to 3000 and this was more than attendance anytime in the past. The Temple priests – Pt Anil Joshi and Yogesh Pandya – started with Mangalarati and offering Gulal to all the deities – Radha-Krishna in particular. This was followed by Holika Dahan in the adjoining parking lot and devotees in a highly disciplined manner offered Ahuti to the holy fire. Thousands of devotees moved around this fire doing Paridakshana and the temple management to ensure their safety had this site properly bounded or covered to avoid any possible accident.

grace lake holik puja
Holika Puja

Pt Joshi talked about the importance and significance of the festival in a lucid way.
Those who came to the event also had a free play of colors and this was a highly entertaining part of the program as both young, adults and seniors wholeheartedly participated. They also danced to the tune of DJ and drum. The temple management with the initiatives and help of Kamal Gupta and Neelkant had prepared typical Holi dishes – Kachori, Aloo sabjee, Kheer Gujiya laddoo – for the devotees who had a swell time enjoying the items.
The event had a beautiful start as weather was favorable with lot of sunshine. Its culmination was incident free largely because of 50 plus volunteers rendering their services in the kitchen, parking lot and directing the devotees to the Holika dahan (Holy fire) site.

Ramesh Soparawala