Wilmette, Community

Vattman Park bursts with color and life during Holi celebration

The grassroots community group South Asian Families of Wilmette is not yet a year old and is already in celebration mode.

The group hosted a belated celebration in honor of Holi — an ancient Hindu holiday that honors love, life and good over evil — on Sunday, May 15, at Vattman Park in Wilmette.


At the local event, locals gathered to revel in each other’s company, chase each other with colored powder, sing, dance and more.

The holiday, also called the Festival of Colours or Festival of Spring, is traditionally observed in March, but the group waited until weather improved to celebrate. While it has roots in India, Holi has spread to other cultures and parts of the world. It is also celebrated by many south Asians and thus, across the globe.

Wilmette residents Shefali Nathan and Swathi Mothkur are co-administrators South Asian Families of Wilmette as a way to unite the community, which Mothkur said is significant in the New Trier area.

The group help a gathering when it first formed in 2021, and also celebrated Diwali together in November 2021.

The Holi event coincided with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, recognized throughout May.

“There are a lot of South Asian families here and we just don’t know each other,” said Mothkur, who is a member of the Village of Wilmette’s Human Relations Commission. ” … For a lot of these festivals and things we do, a lot of the people don’t have families here to celebrate with.

“It’s nice to have a sense of community and belonging and nice to be able to participate in some of these festivals.”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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