Belfast's Holi celebrations a mesmerising kaleidoscope of colour and joy at Titanic centre
Thousands of revellers threw off their inhibitions in downtown Belfast on Sunday as they joined in the joyous Indian custom of throwing multi-coloured dyes in exuberant celebration of Holi and the arrival of spring.
Titanic Exhibition Centre was transformed with the sights, sounds, smells and sheer energy of the world's favourite Indian festival as thousands poured in to run the good-humoured gauntlet of dye-tossing.
It was a case of Belfast-Meets-Bollywood as a troupe of thirty Indian dancers added to the authentic atmosphere, showcasing a spectacular new colour throwing dance routine; traditional Dhol Drummers crashed out the mesmeric rhythms of four newly commissioned pieces and ‘Shamrock Bhangra’, the high octane Dublin-based Punjabi folk dancers, brought an eclectic mix of ethnic magic and mayhem to the occasion.
Welcoming the fun-filled festival to the city, the dye-spattered but delighted Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Guy Spence, said, “The Indian festival of Holi is a brilliant reminder of the great big, wonderful – and colourful – world that we all share. It’s a celebration of vibrancy, energy and sheer fun and I am thrilled that it is now an annual highlight of Belfast’s cultural calendar. It’s great to see so many visitors here today ready to join in the fun and to welcome the arrival of spring in a fusion of colour, culture and creativity.”
The colour powder party marked a double celebration for event organisers, ArtsEkta, which this year marks ten years as Northern Ireland’s leading ethnic arts organisation. ArtsEkta Chairman Jeremy Adams says, “We have been thrilled to splash out the coloured dyes and share this uninhibited age-old Indian festival with the entire community. The public response was nothing short of fantastic and the record attend