Colour Me Happy: Holi Festival Comes To Melbourne

8 October 2014

The countdown to colour is on. In one month to the date, Melbourne will be all but lost beneath a plume of powdery, pastel haze. The Victorian capital has the honour of hosting Australia's first instalment of the Holi Festival of Colours – a celebration known worldwide for its kaleidoscopic celebrations.

Arguably the most vibrant festival in the world, Holi is a Hindu spring festival more commonly known as the 'festival of colours'. The party kicks off on Phalgun Purnima – the full moon – when the Holika bonfire takes place, but it's the following day that has cemented this ritual in our collective retinas.

 Colour your world at the Holi Festival of Colours

The Holi Frolic is a day to down tools, let go of grievances, and basically 'spring clean' the soul. Festival-goers show their enthusiasm in the most visual way possible: by literally painting the town, and each other, in all the colours of the rainbow.

Originating in northern India and Nepal, Holi Festival has since blanketed cities in Europe with a bouquet of colour, from Berlin to Amsterdam, Barcelona and London. This time around, our own sunburnt shores are turning a rosy hue of red (and yellow and pink and green; purple and orange and blue).

What happens at Holi Festival?

Holi Festival of Colours is now celebrated in 30 cities across six countries, where you become both colourer and colouree. Historically, natural pigments from turmeric, sandalwood, beetroot and the springtime flowers were used to paint the patrons of Holi Festival.

These days, a non-toxic synthetic colour powder is preferred. The colour powder washes off skin, out of your hair and off clothes, however most people come dressed in white to enjoy the full effect of the psychedelic colour palate.

Holi Festival of Colours will take place at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne from 12pm on November 8, 2014. Tickets are essential and selling out quick. If you are lucky enough to score a few of those highly sought after tix, the next steps are booking your flights to Melbourne and finding the perfect all-white ensemble.

Runner-Up: The Swisse Color Run

Taking inspiration from Holi Festival, The Color Run is a new event that also focuses on bombarding its patrons with coloured powder. The Color Run is a 'fun run' often held to raise money for charitable causes.

In Australia, this so-called "Happiest 5k on the Planet" is held right around the country throughout the year. Much like Holi Festival, the Swisse Color Run aims to get everyone involved.

Whether you're in a wheelchair, have the kids in tow, are young, old, fit, or maybe haven't been hitting the gym as much as you'd like, this five-kilometre dash is all about having fun and making everyone's day a whole lot brighter.

If you missed out on tickets to Melbourne's Holi Festival this year, one of the following Color Runs may satisfy your need for multi-coloured chaos:

  • Sunshine Coast – October 12, 2014
  • Perth – November 2, 2014
  • Melbourne – November 16, 2014
  • Gold Coast – November 30, 2014
  • Sydney – February 8, 2015
  • Canberra – February 22, 2015
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Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg