Holi is an annual celebration and Hindu religious festival that originates in India. It traditionally occurs at the end of Northern Hemisphere winter, at the full moon in March. It is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, a day to forgive, look ahead and come together as a community.
In Christchurch those wanting to take part in the Holi festival can attend the celebration at The Commons on 5 March. This is a chance for people to gather together, eat good food, dance and enjoy each others company.
One of the most striking Holi traditions involves throwing and smearing coloured powders on each other. This stems from the story of Krishna, who had blue skin, and the fair-skinned Radha. In the story, Krishna, on the advice of his mother, colours Radha’s face. In Hindu tradition Radha is Krishna’s supreme beloved. Colours also symbolise people becoming equals, whether they are old or young, friends or enemies, rich or poor.
The traditional game of matki phod will also be played, in which small teams compete to make human pyramids in order to reach a container of yoghurt. This is also based on stories of Krishna’s youthful exploits.
Christchurch Holi Festival 2016
Where and when: The Commons, 70 Kilmore St, 11am – 3pm
Price: $10, free for children under 10 years (coloured powders are included in the ticket price. More will be available to purchase if you go wild with them and run out)
Tip: Wear old clothes (and shoes) that you don’t mind getting stained by colours.
- Buy tickets to the Holi festival
- Like the Christchurch Holi festival on Facebook
- Video preview of the 2016 Holi event