Leicester celebrates Hindu Holi festival

By Charlie Bourne

Within the month of March, the Hindu festival of Holi was celebrated throughout Leicester city to mark the coming of spring.

On Friday, De Montfort University students turned Bede Park into a sea of bright colours to spread a message of peace.

Holi festivalTraditionally, Holi is celebrated earlier in March with this year’s celebrations beginning March 12th and ending a day later.

Dancing, singing and throwing powder paint and coloured water is often seen, as the festival encourages fun for all who take part.

Stemming from the Hindu story of Prahlad, the festival is seen to symbolise good overcoming evil, which is often why old possessions are cast into bonfires to resemble washing away old sins, and growing up.

Hindu DMU Student, Nirali Patel who has taken part in the celebrations for many years, said: “I have always celebrated this tradition with my family. We go the temple where they build a bonfire which we then walk round and offer coconuts, popcorn and other grains to the fire who represents Lord Vishnu.

“The next day we re-join and celebrate it in a more fun way with whoever else wishes to attend. Throwing the coloured powder paints and water paints is great fun and really brings a sense of community, with people attending no matter what race or religious background they come from.”

The scenes at Bede Park were reminiscent to those earlier in March, as crowds up to 7,000 congregated at Spinney Hill Park and Cossington Recreation Ground, as well as other areas of the City.

As one of England’s most multi-cultural cities, hundreds of students and members of the wider community showed support and joined in with the vibrant celebrations.

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