Thu, Mar 09, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Festival of colors

Holi Festival, an event based on a ritual from India where people atone for their sins by throwing colorful paint, takes place on Sunday in New Taipei City

By Dana Ter  /  Staff reporter

This weekend’s Holi festival will celebrate diversity and difference.

Photo courtesy of Mayur Srivastava

Back for the seventh year, the Indian Holi festival will kick off Sunday at Luguang He-an Park (綠光河岸公園) in New Taipei City. Historically, the yearly festival celebrated by Hindus in India marks the beginning of spring. It’s a time when people atone for their wrongdoings and throw colorful paint at each other, expressing their gratitude.

Mayur Srivastava, a festival organizer who also runs the Mayur Indian Kitchen chain in Taipei, says that he expects to see a large turnout this year. In the past, Holi was mostly celebrated by Indian expats in Taiwan, but more Taiwanese and other expats have been attending the festival over the past few years. In addition, new Indian restaurant 3 Idiots Toast & Curry and the Indian Association of Taipei and Taiwan Tamil Sangam Association were involved in planning this year’s event.

“It’s the first time that we’ve seen such a coming together of the Indian community in Taipei,” Srivastava tells the Taipei Times.

One concern that people may have is a recurrence of the incident in summer of 2015 when a fire broke out during a crowded party at Formosa Fun Coast, a waterpark in New Taipei City, due to the use of chemicals in colored powder. However, Srivastava assures attendees that Holi organizers have been using non-toxic, herbal plant-based paint rather than colored powder since that year.

He adds the goal of the festival is to put aside differences and have a good time while meeting new people.

“This message is especially significant given the current political climate globally,” Srivastava says. “There are too many boundaries being drawn across racial and cultural lines.”

Sunday’s event will also feature Bollywood music and dance performances, a lucky draw and a wide selection of Indian food.

Event notes

What: Indian Festival Holi in Taipei

When: Sunday at 11am

Where: Luguang He-an Park (綠光河岸公園), 36, Huanhe E Rd Sec 1, New Taipei City (新北市環河東路一段36號)

Admission: NT$400; tickets available at: www.indianfoodtaiwan.com/

mik-holi-taipei-taiwan-2017

On the net: www.facebook.com/events/

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“When everyone is covered in paint, skin color [disappears],” Srivastava jokes. “You can’t tell if people are Indian or Taiwanese or American; it just matters that everyone is having a good time.”

It is advisable to bring to the event a change of clean clothing and a zip lock or plastic bag to wrap your phone in.

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