BY NIKITA SOLANKI
As the winter clears away for spring, what better way to celebrate the end of winter with one of the world’s most colourful events.
The Holi festival is an annual Hindu celebration held in India, Nepal and South Asian countries to mark the start of the new season. In recent years, the festival has spread, and celebrations now take place in parts of Britain, Europe and North America.
The gloom of the winter fades as Holi promises bright summer days.
The significance of Holi festival is a representation of the way the farmers celebrate as their fields yield crop. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom, colouring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air.
It is believed that Indian God Vishnu’s reincarnation Lord Krishna liked to play pranks on village girls by drenching them in water and colours – which is where the tradition came from.
Magic of India is an organisation founded by Geeta Srivastava which teaches Hindi language and helps to explore the Indian Culture, art, history, through group classes, private lessons and workshops.
Every year they host a Holi Spring colour Dance party from 11 am to 2:30 pm at the Swiss cottage park area. What better way to bid adieu to the gloomy winter and welcome the summer?
Being an Indian living abroad, I have always been on a lookout to celebrate this festival and do full justice to it. I was looking to celebrating it in the way we do in India and my search finally ended when a friend recommended this place. The sunny weather was just perfect and acted as cherry on the cake.
The Holi festival brings together communities that are rich in diversity.
“Absolutely vibrant colourful event nothing like what I’ve seen in London, super family friendly and everyone at the event is having fun, colourful fun” said Reena Methi, all the way from South London with her friends.
Thousands of people came from all over the UK to join the vibrant, joyful and colourful celebration through an expression of dance, colour, music and fun. It’s amazing how people from different cultures, diverse groups and all age groups right from grandparents to children are able to come together to celebrate Indian Holi in the centre of one of the greatest cities in the world. It brings a beautiful community spirit and integration, people are able to be joyous together.
“My first Holi in London and it was so amazing. Such lovely environment! So much fun for adults and kids of all ages. The tradition of Holi was kept very true. The performances were very good, and music was fun. The food was delicious and the place among the cherry blossom trees was beautiful. One of my best days so far! Can’t wait for next year!!” said Sonya Mukherjee.
For those of us who love to play with colours, to have the inner child brought out of us and want to experience the Indian festivals abroad, this is the place to be.
The Magic of the India put up a Holi event. I attended one yesterday, the 24th of March 2019 at the Swiss Cottage park area.
The park is beautiful with a whole lot of bloomed cherry blossom trees to welcome you right at the entrance.
A colour packet was given free at the entry and if one needed more it was available for just £1.
The colour used is Dry Colour Play Powder which washes off easily. It is simply coloured cornflour which is UK Authority Health and Safety Food Grade Certified. The use of water was strictly prohibited to avoid wastage of water.
Tej Lalwani, one of the Dragons from the TV Series Dragons Den, was present to grace the event.
The event consisted of a live band, Bollywood dancers, and Bhangra dancers, Dhol and a Bollywood DJ with most of best and latest Bollywood tracks. Being a Bollywood fan myself, I loved the atmosphere, music and vibe. A great crowd of people and good food added to all the fun.
It was very well organised with volunteers helping anyone who needed help.
People came with their families and friends and enjoyed grooving to their latest Bollywood tracks.
Delicious hot Indian snacks were on sale – jalebis, doses and bhajias to name a few. I am sure that a foodie would not go home disappointed. For a few minutes I completely forgot that I was outside of India. It is incredible how the Asians living abroad have made the effort to bring their culture to the West.
Being an Asian I know what it feels like to celebrate festivals together. I had a great time and I assure that you will too.