March 3, 2015 2.10 pm This story is over 81 months old

Holi: The festival of colours or the festival of love

Festival of colours: University of Lincoln Chaplain Subash Chellaiah looks ahead to the city’s second Holi festival event, and explains its origins.

Holi is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia – as well as people of other communities outside Asia.

It is primarily observed in India, especially the north, Nepal and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin.

The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and hope for warmer weather. For many it is a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive and repair ruptured relationships.

Traditionally Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on Holi eve, where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where people play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water.

In India, on the day of Holi anyone could be attacked by an explosion of coloured powder – be it your friend, sibling, parent, grandparent or a school child. After a day of colour, families and friends get together for an evening full of festive food and treats.

In the UK, Holi is celebrated in big cities where there is a large Indian population and, last year, The University of Lincoln celebrated Holi for the first time.

Celebrations were held at the University of Lincoln for the first time last year.

Celebrations were held at the University of Lincoln for the first time last year.

This year, Chaplaincy, Students’ Union and International Office are working with Hindu students to organise a fabulous Holi celebration.

Holi, the festival of colours, is going to be celebrated this year opposite Students’ Union on March 6 at 1.30pm.

The celebration will involve applying colours and sprinkling coloured water on each other, along with Bollywood music and dance and children putting coloured handprints onto a canvas. Henna will also be available. The event is open to all – students and staff as well as local community members.

We hope this event will promote community cohesion among the diverse community within the university and local communities within Lincoln.

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Subash Chellaiah is the University Chaplain at the University of Lincoln.