Holi Festival Invasion of colours on Saint Valentine

Story and images: Paola Alvarez

As soon we entered the Krishna Temple grounds in Kumeu, a big cloud of colours appears in front of our eyes. A big stage with many people jumping, covered with colours is something we do not get to see every day. 

All the new folk who come in wearing white tops are surprised as in a matter of seconds they are treated with colours by random people and then more and more, realising they are one in a crowd of many. 

There are families, and kids on the playground. Everyone with colours everywhere are dancing and enjoying vegetarian food, happily embracing the inner child they all have. 

Probably not many people know what the Holi Festival means for Krishna’s community: the arrival of spring and also the triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated every year and is a free event, other than paying for the colour at $5 dollar a packet, made by corn flour so it is environmentally and skin friendly. 

Throughout the day the one message from the stage was repeated many times: ‘We are all one, we are all the same, without discrimination in New Zealand’. 

For Tahn Nickson from New Plymouth, it was his first Holi. He described it as an awesome experience: “The most memorable part was walking up to the Temple from a distance while hearing music play and then getting closer and being blown away by the stage and crowd and colours.” 

Everyone is invited next year for another crazy, fun and joyful Holi – and don’t forget to say ‘Happy Holi’!