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Honestly do not know where else to put this. If mods think it's better somewhere else, please go on and move it. :)

 

I need feedback on color runs - conscious issue or not?

 

Nearly all the organizations that promote them will say the origins come from a Hindu festival called Holi.

 

I will leave it at that for now.

 

Thanks!

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My conscience wouldn't allow me to partake in a Color Run.  

But, I wouldn't do it even if my conscience would allow me to,

because I've researched this and very little--if any--of the money raised

actually goes to help the communities they are run in. -_- 

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Aside from the fundraising money that actually goes to the group needing it being so little... a lot of people get in one just because it's a fun thing to do.

The origins bother my conscious though - but now it's local and I think there are lots of the friends that don't realize it's based on a religious festival - like Christmas, Easter, and so many others. :(

 

I just haven't found anything on them in the WT lib and not sure there's really ever been any comment from the slave about it. So - is it conscious or not? And if not, should I quietly talk to those who may get involved in the local one, or should I perhaps talk to an elder about it?

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My niece and her husband ran in one and sent me pictures.  

I was curious about the event and that is how I ended up researching it and

its origins.  I think you're right.  People are partaking in these events without

realizing the color run's pagan background.

 

You are also right about it being fun to participate in it, regardless of the

false advertising about where the entrance fees end up.

 

It's also fun to decorate an x-mas tree.  You don't even have to be a Druid. ^_^ 

 

Satan is posing as an angel of light.   People wouldn't participate in pagan 

customs, if they weren't fun. 

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The article even talks about the origins of the Catholics' Ash Wednesday, when the priest smears ashes on his parishioners' foreheads:

 

There is a symbolic legend to explain why Holi is celebrated as a festival of colours. The word "Holi" originates from "Holika", the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu,[13]according to legend, was the King of Multan[14] and had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. He grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him.[1]

Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada,[15] however, disagreed. He was and remained devoted toVishnu.[11] This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her.[1] Holika was wearing a cloak that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada.[11] Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika.[12] The next day when the fire cooled down, people applied ash to their foreheads,[16] a practice still observed by some people.[17] Eventually, coloured powder came to be used to celebrate Holi.

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As to the fundraising aspect - it's for the schools, local school district and the elementary grades (PK-5) to be able to buy supplemental materials - stuff not mandated but very helpful in teaching. So in this case, I see no problem with the reason they are doing a fundraiser. All the schools around here do several, most begin the first week of school now too. Usually they are selling overpriced items (frozen foods, pantry foods, gift wraps, candy, assorted household stuff, jewelry) and the schools get a given %age of the "profits" at the end of the time period for that fundraiser. They seem to do 3 or 4 a year now. This color run seems to provide a higher %age back to the schools then most of the others I've seen - but it is the first time for this so only time will tell if it's more profitable for the schools.

(another of many reasons I enjoyed homeschooling so much more)

 

And, normally, I would not pay much concern to the school's fundraisers now (my kids are all grown); but I will see about buying a little something from one of our young sisters or brothers IF they are participating in a fundraiser that has something I'd buy anyway.

This is definitely different and my concern is for those participating or considering it and not being fully aware of it's origins... and how best I should handle this. :)

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That old adage sure gets a lot of mileage!

When in doubt, throw it out.

When in doubt, leave it out.

When in doubt, do without.

(any others?) :)

 

My interest in posting this wasn't in trying to decide for me or my family to participate - we already know we wouldn't and why. :bible2:

 

What I've been trying to sort out is if participating in a color run or similar activity is a matter for each to choose for themselves;

or if it's a matter that is something all JWs would avoid being a part of (such as Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc.). Does this state it clearly enough for everyone? (it seems by some replies I wasn't too clear before)

 

Anyway - I spoke with one of my elders just a little bit ago about this. He had never heard of it; so no idea of origins of it either. And he wasn't aware of the school doing this and some of the elementary aged ones in the congregation participating (or planning to). I told him the date of the school's color run and added the city near us is now promoting one for early October. So this issue is here now. It's been in the U.S. for some time, a few years, and growing in popularity every year. Few realize it's pagan connections here in the U.S.

So, he's going to look into it more and will likely speak to other elders over the weekend too - we have our CA on Sunday. He said he may call me back for more background info. But he thanked me emphatically for telling him about this and agreed it is a concern we all need to be better educated about.

For now, I will leave it there. Since I do see and often talk/chat with some of these sisters fairly often, if I'm in contact with any of them directly I've decided to at least let them know what I know of it's origins; but I'm not going to push it and try to track them all down right away to tell them ... just letting it happen naturally. I don't want anyone thinking I'm trying to tell them what to do. :peace:

Thanks for all your wonderful replies! :crush:

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That old adage sure gets a lot of mileage!

When in doubt, throw it out.

When in doubt, leave it out.

When in doubt, do without.

(any others?) :)

 

Do you want some non-related originals and old classics?

 

Ok, if you insist!  :D

 

"You never win when you sin"

"When you show love, you get a smile from above"

"If you lie, you die"

"Put fire in the talk or put the talk in the fire"

"Keep your feet on the ground and you'll always be around"

 

:)

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Just as a side thought. .. a wedding ring has pagan origins

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_ring#Origins

It is widely believed that the first examples of wedding rings were found in ancient Egypt. Relics dating back as far as 3,000 years ago, including papyrus scrolls, show us evidence of braided rings of hemp or reeds being exchanged among a wedded couple. Egypt viewed the circle as a symbol of eternity, and the ring served to signify the never-ending love between the couple. This was also the origin of the practice of wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand, which the Egyptians believed to house a special vein that was connected directly to the heart.[6]

 

So the practice is widely thought (but not proven) to have originated with an ancient culture that followed false gods, but did not specifically view the rings as having religious significance.

 

*** w72 1/15 p. 63 Questions From Readers ***

It is thus seen that the precise origin of the wedding ring is uncertain. Even if it were a fact that pagans first used wedding rings, would that rule such out for Christians? Not necessarily.

 

 

Compare that to the color run, "Nearly all the organizations that promote them will say the origins come from a Hindu festival called Holi."

 

*** w92 9/1 p. 30 Questions From Readers ***

In such matters, what generally is influential is whether a practice is now linked to false religion.—See “Questions From Readers” in The Watchtower of January 15, 1972, and October 15, 1991.

 

 

If wedding rings were primarily marketed in modern times as "prosperity and fertility charms", even if they were never actually used as such by any historical culture, I doubt they would be a mere personal decision as they are today.

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Re wedding rings and pagan origins

VS

color runs and pagan origins:

 

Help me see your point more clearly, please.

 

My analogy or comparison of a color run to Halloween or Christmas or Easter was in the knowing the more common worldwide understanding of a color run is in the worship of "Holi" aka "Holika" - a Hindu celebration connected to demons and gods that remains today an activity done in many other countries, mostly, no doubt, those with higher populations of Hindu practitioners than is common in most US locations.

In this country (US), while I can't speak for everyone, I am sure if you could find someone of such faith/religion to speak to and ask how they saw locals participating in the local color run (regardless of it's intended or promoted purpose) they would express an opinion that connected to their religion. Some may be pleased to see other, non-Hindu people accepting it and being a part of it. Others may be offended at what seems to them a mockery of their faith, turning something sacred to them into something done just for fun.

 

(I just now at 10:11 my time, see Stavro's post explaining John's point a little more clearly)

 

I do understand what Stavro is saying, however, this particular Hindu celebration is STILL observed, as I stated in the first part of this post.

Case in point: NYC has a color run every Spring for the last few years now, started because of their higher Hindu population there. There are also a few others I've heard of (Los Angeles, San Francisco) doing them now too for the same reason.

 

Just because someone created a company to promote color runs as a fun, family activity, a fun alternative to boring 5K running, etc. doesn't mean many others do not see it as sharing of the Hindu celebration. Most of these companies will admit they took this idea from that particular celebration.

Is this any different from the commercialization of 'Christian' celebrations like Christmas or Easter?


Edited by Anakalia
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I do understand what Stavro is saying, however, this particular Hindu celebration is STILL observed, as I stated in the first part of this post.

 

That was exactly my point, we aren't talking about an ancient tradition with origins lost to history, we're taking about an active celebration of false religion being re-branded to something else.

 

To me, the color run would be no more of a conscious issue than the December 24th "family tree" complete with gifts and ornaments. If a worldly person would see a religious significance in something we participate in, changing its name doesn't change what it really is.

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Guest newyorker2015

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_ring#Origins

It is widely believed that the first examples of wedding rings were found in ancient Egypt. Relics dating back as far as 3,000 years ago, including papyrus scrolls, show us evidence of braided rings of hemp or reeds being exchanged among a wedded couple. Egypt viewed the circle as a symbol of eternity, and the ring served to signify the never-ending love between the couple. This was also the origin of the practice of wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand, which the Egyptians believed to house a special vein that was connected directly to the heart.[6]

 

So the practice is widely thought (but not proven) to have originated with an ancient culture that followed false gods, but did not specifically view the rings as having religious significance.

 

*** w72 1/15 p. 63 Questions From Readers ***

It is thus seen that the precise origin of the wedding ring is uncertain. Even if it were a fact that pagans first used wedding rings, would that rule such out for Christians? Not necessarily.

 

 

Compare that to the color run, "Nearly all the organizations that promote them will say the origins come from a Hindu festival called Holi."

 

*** w92 9/1 p. 30 Questions From Readers ***

In such matters, what generally is influential is whether a practice is now linked to false religion.—See “Questions From Readers” in The Watchtower of January 15, 1972, and October 15, 1991.

 

 

If wedding rings were primarily marketed in modern times as "prosperity and fertility charms", even if they were never actually used as such by any historical culture, I doubt they would be a mere personal decision as they are today.

 

I do agree with the thought of "when in doubt, leave it out". I also would want to avoid stumbling others.

 

That being said, using the above logic, how would you respond to someone who brings up birthday celebrations? They are obviously not specifically condoned in the Scriptures, and they are not viewed as any type of religious celebration at all today...they're about as secular as you can get.   (Hopefully I'm not risking sidetracking this thread lol)

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I do agree with the thought of "when in doubt, leave it out". I also would want to avoid stumbling others.

 

That being said, using the above logic, how would you respond to someone who brings up birthday celebrations? They are obviously not specifically condoned in the Scriptures, and they are not viewed as any type of religious celebration at all today...they're about as secular as you can get.   (Hopefully I'm not risking sidetracking this thread lol)

 

Birthday celebrations have always been linked to idolatry and that makes it religious whether or not the person(s) are religious or not. 

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Guest newyorker2015

Birthday celebrations have always been linked to idolatry and that makes it religious whether or not the person(s) are religious or not. 

 

Great point. It's always good to have as many defenses as possible.

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I see a slight similarity of our pure and clean worship of Jehovah and Birthday celebrations to what we are reading about in 1st and 2nd Kings. David's heart was complete toward Jehovah. He tolerated no false worship in the Kingdom what so ever. Solomon tolerated false worship and the other Good Kings of Judah and Israel that found favor with Jehovah drove out the Baal worshipers, burned there sacred pole and temples but yet they all left the High Places where ones would go to offer sacrificial smoke to false gods. Why go to all that effort to rid the land of what is offensive to Jehovah and leave one offensive thing. Did they think that it wasn't that big a deal or maybe they didn't want to offend the false gods. In the same way, do we try to reason that it really isn't that big a deal and I really don't want to offend my relatives or boss or close friends. It was Idolatry in Jesus' day, it is Idolatry today and we all know what happens to Idolaters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to add a thought. Here in the US and other places, people still use pinatas at birthday celebrations. In 2003 we had an article about it: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102003687#h=1:0-20:45

I think some of the same principles can be applied to the matter of color runs. :) Quote from Wikipedia- Today, the piñata is still part of Mexican culture, the cultures of other countries in Latin America, as well as the United States, but it has mostly lost its religious character.

Could we say that the color run has mostly lost it's religious character? Just a thought.


Edited by Capablewife
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