Colours: Chch's Holi will be a free event this time
[caption for the above picture: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel with event organiser Hitesh Sharma at last year's Holi celebrations in the City; (picture courtesy Revel Events)]
Though still over a month to go, the Garden City has already started gearing up for the fourth celebration of Christchurch's Holi - the Festival of Colours. And the icing on the cake is, the event this time - being organised on March 4, Saturday, on the corner of Madras and Gloucester Streets (opposite Latimer Square) in Central City - will have free entry. Christchurch's new Crown company Otakaro Limited is one of the main sponsors of the event.
Hitesh Sharma from Revel Events, one of the co-organisers, noted, “It's awesome that Otakaro, along with other sponsors, is helping to make this event free, so everyone in Christchurch can dance, throw colours and have fun together. People can also purchase Holi colours at $5 for two packets at the venue.”
Explaining the motivations behind organising the event, Sharma added, “Holi is a traditional Indian festival designed to bring people together and strengthen communities. It is about connecting, forgiving and looking ahead. The throwing of powder colours symbolises everyone becoming equals, whether they are friends, foe or strangers. ”
Tracey Saunders from TribalDiva Belly Dance Company, which will be performing for the first time at Holi added, "I can't wait to be part of this year’s Holi. It's great to see different cultures coming together to celebrate one another".
Taking to the stage for the second year in a row will be Bollywood hip hop group, whose member Darshana Darshika said, "Holi, for me, is all about spending time with the people I care about and being among all that colour - which is something you don't get to do everyday".
Others helping to keep the crowd on their feet in the colour-throwing zone will include entertainment group Chant et Danse, and several DJs. Traditional Indian food and games will once again be part of the celebrations.
Among these the crowd favourite matki phod will be back this year. “This game sees teams of three to five work together to create a human pyramid and then try to break a pot of coloured yoghurt above their heads. All this makes Holi so much fun. There’s nothing else like it in Christchurch ,” concluded event co-organiser Sandeep Khanna.