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‘Demonic holiday’: Orthodox Church rallies against Holi-style festival in Russia’s Urals

‘Demonic holiday’: Orthodox Church rallies against Holi-style festival in Russia’s Urals
The diocese of Chelyabinsk in Russia has urged people not to partake in an upcoming Holi-themed “paint festival,” claiming the event to be a “demonic” holiday and an act of “spiritual sabotage” against Christianity.

The event, which garnered the attention of the Orthodox clerics, is scheduled to take place in the town of Kopeysk on Sunday. It comes as part of the so-called all-Russian festival of colors, a series of musical and paint-throwing events, held in dozens of locations across the country and organized by a private company.

The resemblance to events associated with the Hindu spring festival Holi is uncanny, but the organizers refer to the events as “festivals of colors” and vaguely promise that the revelers will enjoy a carefree atmosphere of ‘happiness and unity.’ While it is listed as being “free” to take part, festival goers must purchase authorized paint to get in.

Although festival organizers have seemingly tried to avoid associating it with religion, local Orthodox authorities have issued an angry warning against the event, claiming it might actually be harmful for one’s soul.

“It’s a demonic holiday, religious Hindu holiday. It has entirely non-Christian background. We look upon it as a true spiritual sabotage that targets Orthodox Christianity, designed to disorient our youth,” the diocese told local media.

In the Hindu tradition, the Holi paint represents ashes of demoness Holika who was killed by fire as her own sinister plot went wrong. The whole goal of the Holi festival is quite the opposite to demon worshipping, it’s actually to pray for one’s internal evil to be destroyed like the demoness.

The Holi-style events have been popular in different countries over the past few years. In non-Hindu countries, the religious meaning of the festival is usually watered down, or nonexistent altogether, and the revelers simply focus on paint-throwing.

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