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Atlanta Hosts A “Riot” of Color: The Hindu Festival of “Holi”

23 Mar 2024 3:21 AM | Sewa International (Administrator)

Atlanta, GA (March 2024): The Atlanta Chapter of Sewa International recently hosted its 17th annual Holi festival, the vibrant and colorful Hindu celebration of spring, love, and colors. The event, held at Cumming Fairgrounds on March 23, attracted an impressive turnout of nearly 18,000 people from the Atlanta Metropolitan Area and beyond, making it one of the largest Holi celebrations in the United States.

The Atlanta Holi celebration featured a variety of cultural performances, including traditional and Bollywood dances and live music. Attendees also enjoyed a wide array of traditional Indian vegetarian street food.

Congressman Dr. Rich McCormick, Consul General of India in Atlanta Ramesh Babu Lakshmanan, Georgia State Representative Todd Jones, and Forsyth County Commissioner Alfred John graced the occasion with their presence. Sen. Jon Osoff sent specially recorded greetings for the event attendees. Atlanta’s own business leaders -- Subhash Patel of Natson Hotels Group and Samir Bhatia, CEO of Smartcare Urgent Care -- conveyed their Holi wishes to the community.

"We are thrilled to have hosted such a successful and joyous Holi celebration," said Dr. Madhav Durbha, President of Sewa International Atlanta. "Holi is a time for spreading happiness and building community spirit, and we are delighted to see so many people come together to celebrate this colorful festival with us."

The event drew the interest of various corporations. Employees of Starbucks were there to serve free coffee to Sewa volunteers early in the morning. Tesla Motors brought some of their cars to display and also to allow attendees to test drive.

Dignitaries with the Sewa Team members

Sewa Atlanta’s tradition of celebrating Holi started in 2006 in Alpharetta’s Wills Park. At the time there were other Holi celebrations around the city, but none in the proximity of Alpharetta which was starting to become the center of gravity for the Indian diaspora. Bringing the festival closer to where the people lived began to attract attention. Several volunteers who were at the 2006 event continue to serve as part of Sewa. Over the years Holi started attracting non-Indians as well turning it into a universal celebration regardless of race, religion, or ethnic backgrounds. Besides being a fun experience, a key motivation behind the event is to build awareness of the community impact activities Sewa is undertaking in Atlanta.

A core team of volunteers worked tirelessly for nearly three months leading to the event. About 250 volunteers were present at the event to tend to the needs of the attendees. The Holi celebration would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors, volunteers, and attendees. The Cumming Police Department provided security and DJ Shaan rocked the campground with music to which the performers and attendees danced while showering each other in colors. The staff of Cumming Fairgrounds ensured that the event was effectively managed.

Tesla Motors joined the fun -- all colored up!

Natson Hotels Group and Paramount Software Solutions served as signature sponsors. Sanatan Mandir and Shakti Mandir sponsored the food for thousands of attendees. Amruth Ayurveda, AssureGuru, CGIngredients, Cherians, Chugh, E-Ring, Inc., Garuda Vega, Georgia Banking Company, Gupta Real Estate, Indiaco, PNC Bank, Premium Realty Group LLC, Pyramid Consulting, Royal Basmati Rice, Twinkle Pediatrics LLC were the additional sponsors.

In the true spirit of the Hindu adage that “the whole world is one family,” Sewa International Atlanta organizes various charitable initiatives, including food drives, primary education initiatives, and free healthcare clinics in collaboration with Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) to support local communities in need.

Sewa International has also adapted several sustainability principles in minimizing waste associated with the event. Greencell Atlanta partnered with Sewa on this front. The City of Cumming provided recycling bags and containers.

Sharing some love and gratitude with our Police Officers

Starbucks staff greeted our volunteers with coffee early in the morning

About Sewa International
Sewa International is a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, nonprofit service organization registered under Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) (3). Founded in 2003, Sewa International is part of a larger movement that started in India in 1989 and is active in twenty countries. Sewa serves humanity irrespective of race, color, religion, gender or nationality. Sewa specializes in disaster relief and rehabilitation. Our development programs focus on family services; child, tribal and refugee welfare; women empowerment; health; and education. For more information about Sewa International, please visit

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