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India’s “festival of colour” to be held in Aberdeenshire – The Press and Journal

Categories: News

An Aberdeenshire town will burst into life this weekend as it hosts the north-east leg of the Hindi festival of colour – one of India’s biggest celebrations.

The Indian Association of North East Scotland are welcoming people of all backgrounds and ages to join in with the Holi festival at Westhill’s Ashdale Hall on Sunday.

During the ancient Hindi festival – celebrated the world over – people paint each other in dry powder and coloured water following song and dance around a Holika bonfire.

And this year, the north-east will join in with cities across the globe which have embraced the festival and burst into life in a haze of vibrant colours.

Surendra Khandelwal, secretary of the North East Indian Association, said: “Holi is possibly the second biggest festival that takes place in India, and because of the nature of the festival of colour has caught the attention of people globally.

“If we were to give you a parallel here, you have Christmas and Easter. It is like the start of spring and that is what the celebration is about. In some parts of India it is two days, in other parts it extends.

“We have been doing this as a charity for many years now but limited it to the community for many years, but what we have consciously tried to do this time is try to make it a city kind of thing for the whole city to join in. The response has been absolutely wonderful.”

He added that large amounts of Gulal – the sand-based coloured powder used during the festivities – had been purchased by the group in preparation for the event.

Mr Khandelwal, who moved to the UK from the Indian state of Rajasthan in 2008 and now lives in Kingswells, promised there would be plenty of fun for the whole family, as well as food to sample and music from an Aberdeen-based Bollywood DJ.

The event begins at noon.


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