Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Indian Holi festival unleashes explosion of colour in Belfast

Indian Holi festival celebrated at Custom House Square in Belfast.  April 2013
Indian Holi festival celebrated at Custom House Square in Belfast. April 2013

A packed Customs House Square celebrated the 6th annual Festival of Colours in Belfast yesterday.

A celebration of Indian cultures, the traditional Hindu Festival of Colours, also known as Holi, marks the arrival of Spring with music, dance and a two-hour colour powder party which sees festival-goers throw powder paint at each other all while enjoying the carnival atmosphere on offer.

Upwards of 6,000 festival goers joined together to mark the occassion, further bolstering its reputation as one of Northern Ireland's largest multi-cultural festivals.

Nisha Tandon, Director of Arts Ekta, Northern Ireland’s award-winning ethnic arts organisation and creators of the Festival of Colours, said:

“Now in its sixth year, the Festival continues to grow in popularity and stature, attracting people of all ages, communities and cultures. The Festival marque was packed to capacity, and the atmosphere something special- the move back to the city centre has been the right one.”

“Northern Ireland is becoming increasingly diverse and the Festival of Colours is the perfect opportunity for people across all communities and cultures to embrace and celebrate what it is that makes us all so unique. We were delighted to so many people attending today. This kind of support demonstrates how we are all committed to celebrating the diversity within our society.” Nisha added.

Visitors at the city centre event had the opportunity to sample gourmet food from around the globe including Spanish, Caribbean, Indian, and Thai cuisine among others. While top class international and home grown acts from the world of music, dance and visual arts including Belfast's South Asian Dance Academy and Birmigham based Birgue Dholis and Ankhile entertained the packed crowds.

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