25th March 2005
Roe Green Park, Kingsbury, London NW9 9PE
Holi Festival celebration
As the not remotely tired old adage has it, just like London buses, you wait ages for a religious festival to come around, then suddenly three of them arrive at one. Actually there were four religious events being observed this particular day, but I only managed to get to three of them (the fourth, Purim, took to the streets of Stamford Hill and Golders Green in unspecific activities that I couldn’t fit in/cope with).
Of course, a lot of all this is tied up with the start of spring (and the timing of the nearest full moon) and this particular year Easter came in fairly early, so it was down to Westminster for the annual Good Friday crucifixion procession. Immediately afterwards, up in Soho, the Hare Krishna festival of Guara Purnima was in full swing heading down Regent Street.
Then it was up to Roe Green Park in Kingsbury where the local Hindu community were celebrating Holi. (This was long before festival organisers cottoned on to the commercial opportunities of throwing coloured paint and turned a hindu tradition event into an excuse for a big party) The main attraction here was the Holika Dahan – a big bonfire symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, and traditionally the night before Holi itself – although there was plenty of coloured stuff (you’ll have to take my word of it) flying around to keep the families occupied.
This is apparently how they celebrate Holi over in Bollywood.