New season celebrated through Carnival of Colours

Published: Thursday 11th May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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The Carnival of Colours is a vibrant celebration of spring, organised by Hull & East Riding Hindu Cultural Association (HERHCA).

The exciting event brings the essence of the Indian festival of Holi to Hull UK City of Culture 2017. We spoke with the General Secretary of HERHCA, Dr Navin Jaiveloo, to find out more about what’s involved.

“In India, the arrival of spring is honoured with a festival of colours. Holi, as it is called, usually takes place around March,” Navin tells us.

“We wanted to show the people of Hull what Holi is all about by incorporating the spirit of the festival within this Carnival of Colours.”

Holi signifies the victory of good over evil, as well as the end of winter. It is observed by several religions within India. Many see it as an opportunity to have fun, meet new people and repair broken relationships.

Whilst Holi began as an ancient Hindu feast, the festival has become popular with non-Hindus. It has spread across many parts of South Asia and even to parts of Europe and North America.

“Although HERHCA is organising the Carnival of Colours, it is important to note that it is observed by all faiths and very much enjoyed by whole populations across India,” Navin confirms.

“It’s all about having a good time and inviting spring into your life.”

Meanwhile, if you are interested in finding out more about the Hindu faith, pop into the Hindu Cultural Centre on Park Street, or visit their Facebook page.

One of the main activities involved in Holi and the Carnival of Colours is the incredible paint throwing experience:

“You will be able to purchase powder paint that is safe and tested for allergens,” Navin explains.

Entry is £3 for adults and £2 for children, and you can purchase your colours once you’re at the event.

Traditionally, natural plant-derived colours were thrown around and played with. These would be made up from turmeric, neem, dhak and kumkum. Nowadays, water-based commercial pigments are often used.

Other activities at the Carnival of Colours will include singing and dancing, as well as performances by professionals and schools.

“The carnival will also be a great chance to taste Indian food,” Navin adds. “We’ll have a range of food on offer, prepared by caterers who specialise in cuisine from different states in India.”

The Carnival of Colours was set to take place at the end of this month. However, over 1,000 tickets sold in 24 hours, which has led HERHCA to reorganise the event with Hull City Council.

It will now take place in August in a larger space, allowing as many people as possible to attend. If you have already purchased a ticket, it can still be used on the new date, which is yet to be confirmed.

“We want to invite the whole community to join us in this welcoming of spring,” Navin continues. “The fact that it will be in summer will make it a truly unique experience!”

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Published: Thursday 11th May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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