Limited Phagwah celebration in Queens

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This 2019 image shows celebrants, including then CG of Guyana, NY, Barbara Atherly (sixth from left), holding a banner,along the parade route on Liberty Avenue, Queens.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Dr. Dhanpaul Narine, a member of the Annual Phagwah Parade, Inc. committee, thank the 106 Precinct, and Mayor of the City of New York, Eric Adams, for giving organizers the opportunity to host the upcoming Sunday, March 27 celebration to welcome the Hindu festival, as the city slowly opens, after two years of the coronavirus.

The festival will celebrate its 33rd Anniversary in Queens. The last one was held in 2019, before the pandemic.

The limited jollification that is being sponsored by the Federation of Hindu Mandir Inc. and Arya Spiritual Center, Inc., will be held in a two-block radius encompassing Liberty Avenue, Queens, recently proclaimed, “Little Guyana.”

A stage will be constructed at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Blvd. to curtail, the crowd and presentation, where celebrants will enjoy a cultural presentation of dance, music, and the playing of Phagwah. Members of the community, and visitors, will douse each other with the colored powder Abrack – as well as water, believed to originate from mythological love story of Radha and Kristna.

According to Narine, even though the parade was sidelined for two years due to the pandemic, families used that time to celebrate in private settings, to carry on the tradition.

This year, the community will get a reprieve from protocol, as they come together for the spectacular kaleidoscope of colorful presentation that brings joy, and togetherness, and the welcome of the spring season.

Organizers are appealing to celebrants to strive for a safe, orderly, and dignified celebration. And while calling on them to refrain from the use of water guns, organizers added that alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited.

And in keeping with the sacred festival, only religious music should be played, and powder and Abrack used at the designated location of the celebration.

The Phagwah Parade of NY, Inc. committee members are, Vedo Basdeo, Anup Ramnath, Romeo Hitlall, Doodnauth Dasrat, Bholanauth Adinarayan, Balram Rambrich, Sagar Rajpal, Herman Singh, Naro Balli, Prakash Persaud, and Naidoo Veerapen.

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