North Hagley Park was awash with colour on Saturday 2 February, as more than 12,000 people gathered to celebrate the Christchurch Holi Festival of Colours.
A traditional Indian celebration of diversity that is globally recognised, it was especially pertinent in the lead-up to Waitangi Day, according to event co-organiser Hitesh Sharma of Revel Events. “The Indian practice of throwing powdered colours symbolises everyone becoming equal, no matter where they come from and whether they are friends or strangers, which couldn’t be more fitting in the lead up to our national day.”
This year’s event treated festival-goers to an explosion of music, dance, colours and food. Indian fusion performances and other elements of New Zealand culture were included, alongside a variety of other cultural performances and music, with an array of food and craft stalls and family activities that include traditional Indian games.
A spectacular aerial flower petal drop saw petals of different colours dispersed from a helicopter to signify the friendship and harmony between New Zealand and India and to highlight the event’s charitable focus this year, with proceeds of an optional gold coin koha at the event helping to support the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.