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Photo: Holi Festival celebration at East Ridge

Lead singer Tanush Dhingra, 13, (right) sings a raga during rehearsal prior to the Holi Festival on April 20 at East Ridge High School. At left is Shraavya Mehta, 6. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia

WOODBURY — Hindus intoned the traditional "Om" chant to open the Chinmaya Colorweave at East Ridge High School on April 20. The annual Holi Festival commemorates the victory of Krishna over evil and marks the end of winter.

Devotees from Woodbury, Chaska and Shakopee wore native clothing and colored powders, which symbolize unity in diversity. A choral group called Hindustani Classical Music performed a series of ragas. The term, which derives from the Sanskrit word for color, refers to the music's power to paint the mind.

Lead singer Tanush Dhingra, 13, delivered a soaring and supple performance. He came from Edina with his family to sing at the festival.

"It requires a lot of devotion, but the reward is so fulfilling," he said.

The event included Indian food and live performances of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, which are forms of Indian classical dance.

Woodbury Mayor Anne Burt officiated in the traditional lighting of the lamp. The festival was organized by Chinmaya Mission Twin Cities, a Hindu spiritual center.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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