Kites fly above colorful campus during Holi-Basant festival

Jaisal Kalapatapu and Kaveen Shah

Laughter and music filled the air as students pelted one another with colored powder.

On Sunday, March 27, the South Asian Heritage Club hosted the first-ever Holi-Basant Festival on the Falcon Green lawn. Although this was the 10th annual Holi event, it was the first time that Basant, traditionally celebrated in North India as well as the Punjab region of Pakistan, was also included in the celebration. Basant consists of thousands of people flying kites on Basant Panchami to honor the Hindu goddess of education, creativity, and music: Saraswati. 

The festivities for this all-school event started at noon with an introduction from the club’s presidents, senior Laxmi Thakkar and junior Nick Bhasin, followed by a performance by sophomore Eshaan Mani and his teacher, Toki Singh, on the dhol, an Indian drum. Then, community members flew kites, a key element of Basant celebrations, and socialized while also eating snow-cones and enjoying an array of Indian food and drinks. 

Following these festivities, performances were put on by Rice University’s Basmati Beats acapella group, featuring Kinkaid alumni. 

Mrs. Anjaly Thakkar, Upper School math teacher, led an interactive demonstration on dandiya dancing from the state of Gujarat. Upper School students in the dance program and South Asian Club put on several dances as well. 

Sophomore Charlie Schmidt enjoyed the festivities, especially Basmati Beats’ performance.

“The group blended their culture beautifully with the American pop songs to create a surreal performance,” he said.

Finally, students were let loose to engage in the Holi celebration, which included throwing colored powder on one another in addition to spraying water guns and celebrating the arrival of spring.

“It was such fun to gather as a community and celebrate Holi, the festival of colors, and Basant, the festival of kites,” sophomore Eshaan Mani said. “I really enjoyed playing the dhol and dancing during the entertainment section, but my favorite part would have to be playing with color.”