Organised by Bangor Indian Society (BIS), Holi Festival was a hit among Bangor students. Around 300 hundreds attended the “Holi Party” on Thursday 10th and, two days later, some of them seized the opportunity to celebrate it the traditional way by throwing colored powder in the air.
Originally, Holi comes from Hinduism and its celebration started in India. It is praising the “true devotee” that was Prahlada, who resisted fire thanks to his faith, in opposition to Holika who turned into ashes. ‘Holi’ comes from ‘Holika’, who was a she-demon. In celebration of the victory of good over evil, people applied ashes to their forehead. Hence, the colored powder that is now used to celebrate Holi.
Nowadays, the festival takes place every year at the approach of the vernal equinox and lasts several days. People spend them with friends and family. They celebrate the end of winter, good harvests, and the victory of good over evil. The tradition of throwing colors in the air recently became really popular and spread around the world.
In Bangor, the Indian society organised a “Holi Party” in PJ Halls, Main Arts. The show was composed of 12 performances including Bollywood dancing, singing, piano playing and belly dancing. Two buffets, one of them free, were full of delicious Indian food (samosas, onion bhajis, dipping sauce, etc.). There was also a ‘photo booth’ (where you could try on Indian clothing) and a ‘Mehndi’ (henna) stall.
The event entertained more than 250 people: students as well as families with young children. The Indian community was present along with people who did not know much about Holi. Sanna and Anna, both Bangor University students, really enjoyed the show. Sanna said:
“There were really nice performances. I particularly liked the Indian clothing and all its details. I am discovering what Holi is, I have heard about it but never really knew what is was. What I know from Indian culture, I have seen on TV”.
And Anna added :
“I never heard of Holi but I came because I used to take Bollywood dancing classes in Finland.”
Yasharth, BIS’s chairman, explains :
“This society is about meeting other people, other identities. We want to share with them our culture. This is why I am really glad so many people came. This event was the biggest of the year so far and the international office and the Student Union were really helpful.”
To conclude the Holi Festival, according to tradition, students gathered around Ffriddoedd Site to throw colors in the air and at each other.