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The festival of Holi is being celebrated by Ashford's Indian community at the WI Hall in Willesborough

14 March 2014
by Tim Collins

Colourful scenes will be taking place at an Indian celebration of a holy day taking place tomorrow.

Holi is a spring festival of colour instantly recognisable for its use of coloured powders and water, which people throw over each other.

A group of at least 65 Indians will be marking the festival with family and friends at a celebration organised by the group Indians In Ashford.

Organiser Shipra Arora

Organiser Shipra Arora

Shipra Arora set up the group in 2011, after moving here from London, so her daughter Anya, six, could explore the Indian side of her culture with her mother, her father Ankur and the wider Indian community.

The Hythe Road resident said: “We feel it is important for them to learn about where their families come from, as well as the English culture they have been brought up in.

"Anya gets so excited for her visit from father Christmas, but I feel like it is also my duty to teach her about her heritage. And we would love to hear from other Indian people who feel the same.”

Colourful paints and water are splashed during Holi

Colourful paints and water are splashed during Holi

Holi celebrations traditionally start with a bonfire, where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning, people chase each other with dry coloured powders and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and water-filled balloons.

The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and end of winter, and a chance to meet others to play and laugh, forgive and forget, and to repair ruptured relationships.

Games and entertainment for the family will be held in the gardens of the WI Hall in Church Road, Willesborough.

For pictures from the event, see next week’s Kentish Express.

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