Colour your world; celebrate & get covered in colour!
2 February 2020
A lot has changed since Tauranga’s annual Holi Colour Splash began four years ago. For one, it keeps growing, attracting more punters to show up and get covered in the colours of the rainbow.
But this year it’s not just bigger audiences on the cards for organisers Dhruva and Bela Reid, but a festival that has also grown to include so much more than its iconic colour-throwing.
Why? To create greater cultural awareness of Indian customs and traditions, in a space that is welcoming, entertaining and informative.
For Bela, she felt this had been lacking in their first events, simply due to the manpower and resources required to host a festival of this nature. Now, festival go-ers can expect a full afternoon of Eastern and South Asian culture: Fusion music, live Bharatanatyam dance, traditional Holi music played by a nationally popular DJ artist, informative and intriguing snippets about the import of Holi, delicious vegetarian East-meets-West food, henna face painting, and plenty of throwing-colour for sale.
“'With the trans-cultural injection of the Holi spirit, we wish to make the festival comers reflect on how peace, honour and fulfilment can come from within each of us, and manifest in our lives.''
India’s ancient festival of Holi is now celebrated widely throughout the world, and in recent years has become a popular event in New Zealand cities.
There are varying traditional stories that tell the origin of Holi, but the underlying message is that divine goodness will always overpower evil.
“Holi reminds and encourages us to strengthen the virtue of truthful and honest living and being, and to disown the unethical, unkind, or evil, starting with our self,” explains Bela.
Bela first wanted to bring this event to Tauranga after her family attended several Holi festivals in India, and the feeling of being part of something so special.
“While chasing each other down the sandy village laneways we remembered the festival's sacredness, and the honour of the divine creator who – however we may perceive Him – bids us to welcome and honour all others. We felt empowered and uplifted by body, mind and soul.”
Spirituality aside, Bela says one of her favourite things about Holi is seeing the many happy faces of children, and un-restrained, childish-like moods of adults when playing Holi.
“The interchanging of so many different people of age, race and faith, and a mood of universal celebration of something that is very sublime and sacred in its core makes me happy. It’s a great day out for absolutely everyone.”
So out of all those glorious colours, which is Bela’s favourite? “Bright yellow, because it reminds me of anything that is radiant, golden-hue and divine.”
Thanks to the event sponsors for making this event free for the community – including Tauranga City Council, Welcoming Communities Tauranga and Ethnic Communities Development Fund.
Holi Colour Splash
Saturday, February 29 from 12pm – 4pm
Jordan Field (Memorial Park), Devonport Road, Tauranga
FREE & open for all ages
What is Holi?
Holi is an ancient cultural festival coming from the land of India, honouring the divine play of the divine couple Radha and Krsna. In this tradition, surviving and thriving today, people find great joy in the colour chase and the light-hearted mood of brother-sisterhood during the festival.