Should a Christian participate in a Color Run?

color run

Lately I’ve been seeing friends, Christians and non-Christians alike, participating in this event’s called “Color Runs” which are usually 5k runs, were people wear white and stop by color stations to throw colored powder on themselves, their friends and in the air. The past two springs, more and more pictures on Facebook of smiling people covered in blues, purples, yellows, reds and other colors with little spots of their white tee-shirts peeking out from behind, keep showing up in my timeline.

Honestly, It looks like a lot of fun (a little precarious for anyone with dust allergies or asthma) and just imagine an adult food fight, replacing the food with colored powders and celebrating -as the press release I ran across was reading says, “a feel-good, happy, colorful event. It is a living, moving work of art.”

Which browsing over the press release is fine at first read.

Digging a little further into the release I caught this wording, and it got me thinking and wanting to do a little more investigation on the philosophy behind the event, “It was clear from the beginning that The Color Run has some hidden magic.”

“Hidden Magic” is an interesting choice of words and anytime I hear the word magic in relation to an event or celebration, it makes me start to wonder.

So, being the curious internet detective- I started googling and bing-ing away and ran into some interesting information about a color celebration that seems very similar to the color runs that are sweeping the nation.

It seems there is in the Hindu religion there is an event called the Holi festival, each year in India, where colors are thrown into the air.

It’s a magical festival, celebrating the destruction of Hiranyakashipu, a king of demons ruling demon, is destroyed by his son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. According to Wikipedia, “the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. The festivities officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.”

A few different areas of India have slightly different perspectives on the magical and mythological aspect of the celebration, but it does have common themes throughout all parts of the country.

According to regarding the Holi Festival, “People spend the day smearing colored powder all over each other’s faces, throwing colored water at each other, having parties, and dancing under water sprinklers.” Which looks strikingly similar to some of the pictures I’ve seen- that I’ve mentioned were on my friends facebook pages.

It’s interesting to note that the same months the Holi Festival happen are also the same months the color runs across the US are booked where thousands of runners participate in the festivities.

Is a color run a bad thing in itself? Maybe not, but we as Christians are warned to use our discernment and not fall to the wiles and tricks of the devil who tries to infiltrate our lives and minds though seemingly innocuous ways.

What a great way to indoctrinate the people of the US to a festival that celebrates a demon killing its demon king father and being blessed by a god. And I use the term god with a lowercase G, because it is a “god” of this world.

Here is how the devil works. Satan steals love, or tries to steal love from people and his wicked plans are at work all around us. The pathetic thing about Lucifer in his jealousy for God, where he’s so desperate for adoration he tries to trick us into worshiping and celebrating him, without us even knowing it. Trickery…and speaking of that word, trickery is also mentioned in this Holi festival, since it also celebrates the silliness and trickery of a prank of Krishna against Radha- by placing color on him.

If you look at photographs on the internet of the color runs and also photos of the Holi festival, it will be hard to tell the difference between the two events. People dressed in white, a rainbow of colors thrown into the air, running, playing… so on.

In Matthew 7:15 the lord warns us to watch out for false prophets in the coming age “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves…” And Jesus states in another part of the New Testament regarding Satan, “for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The bible also talks about idolatry and worshiping false gods.

Satan is the king of Diversion and makes the wrong things seem attractive, and he’s also the master of deception and lies.

The thing that can trap Christians into celebrating what seems to be a fun, innocent time of throwing colors into the air, is the fact you do not know you are deceived until you awake from your deception. Usually, a deceived person will not even check to see if they are deceived, they start accepting the deception.

Again, I will point out I don’t know the true intention and motivation behind the runs nationwide but I do know, this run celebrates many of the same themes as does the Hindu festival, it is right around the same exact time of year/season and uses a lot of the same colorful imagery.

I will leave it up to you and Jesus and your own discernment whether or not you want to participate in events such as this. I’d suggest studying the festival in India more and looking into who is hosting the color event you’re thinking about attending, what their religious affiliations are and what charities they’re involved in.

I’m doing my spiritual duty as a fellow brother-in-Christ to suggest that as a Christian you take this as a word of caution, pray and think about attending these events.

Personally, looking at pictures of both events, something is disturbing to my spirit, so for those of you who invited me to come walking/running with you this past month, don’t worry about inviting me in the future- I’ll pass on attending, and not just for the asthmatic reasons.

God Bless and let prayer and discernment guide your way.

~Rev. Dino

**Please help us continue this project by donating as we run on very limited funds to keep it going. God bless and thank you.


  • Karen Kelley

    Thank-you for the research. This old world is fraught with land mines of this nature. In fact I had just posted an illustration on why Christians should ‘care’ about the origins of celebrations & traditions. I’ll share it here. “Why the fuss?

    “Maybe you feel that the origins of holidays have little to do with how they are celebrated today. Do origins really matter? Yes! To illustrate: Suppose you saw a piece of candy lying in the gutter. Would you pick up that candy and eat it? Of course not! That candy is unclean. Like that candy, holidays may seem sweet, but they have been picked up from unclean places. To take a stand for true worship, we need to have a viewpoint like that of the prophet Isaiah, who told true worshipers: “Touch nothing unclean.”—Isaiah 52:11.” (Bible Teach Chapt 14.; pp 154-163)

    One excellent resource for those who know that God wants to be worshiped both in spirit and truth is A very unique Bible education website that provides viewing in over 500 different languages. Take care,

  • Riley

    This is insane. As a Christian, I completely agree that we need to be aware of and stay away from situations in which we can be deceived into sin. However claiming that participating in a color run will lead us astray from God is nonsense. Just because it is similar to a Hindu practice does not mean it is a sinful trap. That would be the same as warning Christians from meditating, for that is a Buddhist tradition. Or saying that participating in a fast similar to Ramadan for diet or Christian prayer related reasons would in fact deceive us because it is part of the Islam religion. God gave each of us judgement, wisdom, and His word to discern what is right and wrong, so that common acts such as fasting, meditating, and even color runs won’t easily weaken our Christian faith. Yes, I totally agree with you, that before participating in an event people should look into where the money is going to ensure it is something that matches our beliefs. If it weren’t for your asthma, which I am sorry to hear about, I would reconsider your decision to not attend color runs.

    • Dino

      Riley, no one claimed it WILL lead you astray, it says- use you’re own gut feeling, God’s discernment given though prayer and do some research to know what you’re participating in. The argument for meditation is actually biblically incorrect on your part.
      Christians never should attempt to meditate in the way of Buddhism. We are not to “clear” our minds and try to transcend to become nothingness, or connect with Om….when the term “meditation” is used in Christianity- its means to pray to God or focus on Christ’s word and the words of the Disciples in connection with and in communion though praise to God.

      Christians shouldn’t participate in Ramadan, as Islam is not a Christian based religion and rejects some of the main components of Christianity- the Virgin birth, and Christ being the Last Prophet until His return, that he rose from the grave and that He was God’s son. But again…. you’re not biblically correct in calling this article crazy and using the examples you’ve given.
      Christians are called to fast in the bible… but not as the Muslims do. Muslims are very public about it… God, directs Christians to be very private about it.

      6:16-18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for
      they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others.
      Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast,
      anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen
      by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees
      in secret will reward you.”

      And we are to fast in prayer…

      12:15-17 “And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to
      David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the
      child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
      And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the
      ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.”

      Such as the above mentioned things for a Christian to do- Ramadan fasting and meditating like a Buddist, can open ones self up to influence by “unfamiliar spirits” The Bible tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary
      the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
      Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”

      2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

      In the summery of the article… it even says
      “I will leave it up to you and Jesus and your own discernment whether or not you want to participate in events such as this. I’d suggest studying the festival in India more and looking into who is hosting the color event you’re thinking about attending, what their religious affiliations are and what charities they’re involved in. I’m doing my spiritual duty as a fellow brother-in-Christ to suggest that as a Christian you take this as a word of caution, pray and think about attending these events.”

  • Steven Luther Gilkey

    I agree with you! I have a website, http://www.BiblicalPOV.Com; and I was going through the advertisements that were being loaded onto my pages. I noticed one for “Color Fun Fest 5k”; and from the pic in the ad, I realized immediately it was like this heathen ceremony.

    I’ve seen enough of this stuff on TV lately. Toyota ads of paint being thrown at a car, and another with a car full of Muppets shooting colors out of the roof of their vehicle. And Walmart ads with people throwing water balloons with some sort of colored liquids. Walmart has actually gone to the trouble of making a 59 second “how to” video and posting it on YouTube (I won’t include the link here for search engine reasons; but a search about making paint balloons and Walmart should find it, if you want to see it).

    And, I realize that America has already gone SO far into paganism. However, I didn’t realize that this particular practice had already become so “mainstream”. I suppose it was inevitable, as more and more people from the lands that have long been involved in these rituals move to the U.S. It is the nature of all people to continue their habits wherever they go.

    As for comments by Riley, it saddens me, but I must strongly disagree. I do agree that God strengthens those of us that are Christians to resist the ways of the devil. Nevertheless, we are commanded: “Thou shalt not tempt the LORD your God (Yahweh, your Elohim)”, Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:7; and Luke 4:12. God does provide protection, but ONLY if we do OUR part.

    “Therefore, let him who stands take heed, lest he fall.”–1 Corinthians 10:12

    For Riley to say of your article “this is insane” is so very wrong. The word “insane” seems somewhere in the area of “fool” and “idiot”. I certainly hope it was not truly meant that way, since to call a fellow Christian something like puts the name-caller in danger of Hell fire ( ).

    I should also say, that we shouldn’t be thinking only about how we personally might be harmed by these rituals. Even if it were perfectly safe for those of us who are already Christians to be surrounded by these pagan ceremonies, we still need to ask, especially, “what about the children?” How many little minds will grow up around these ceremonies, and come to believe that the ceremonies (as well as, know doubt, as the baggage of the pagan history) are absolutely fine–in fact, a tremendous amount of fun?!! People make fun of “thin-end-of-the-wedge”, “foot-in-the-door”, “slippery-slope” theories; but the reality is, that there is a great deal of truth in them.

    Over and over again, we find passages like these in the Bible (from the ESV version):

    my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the
    Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the
    Jebusites, and I blot them out,
    shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but
    you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. …

    …32You shall make no covenant with them and their gods.
    shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if
    you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”

    We are warned not to even have such people living with us, “…lest they make (cause) [us to] sin against [God]” (verse 33). I’m not sure how much clearer God could be on this issue. Having pagans among us is BAD; and having them perform pagan rituals is BAD. This is not rocket science.

    Thank you for writing this article, Brother. Now I need to return to my BLOCKING of those horrid ads.

  • jeansandjacketrequired

    Colors are bad. I would only throw gray… But this is so evil.

  • C girl

    @ Riley I so agree with Dino! What Satan does is make you look at a situation where your spirituality can be harmed as innocent. Give that some thought. 2 Corinthians 6:14 asks, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” By Biblical mandate you don’t mix the two!

  • Lebo Moumakwe

    Thank you Rev. Dino for this. The colour run has hit the shores of South Africa as well, at first I was keen to attend and lost interest within the first week without any particular reason, I was just not interested anymore. This morning I got a text from a friend who was asking me if I knew where the colour run came from so I decided to do a bit of digging and I am greatful I came across your article. This is confirmation that I should not bother. The run is schedule to take place tomorrow in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape and Durban have already had their run. Thank God for your article.