Music and food on menu as Holi festival brings fresh splash of colour to North-east

Revellers enjoying the Holi Mela festival in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen is set to turn technicolour for another year as the Holi Mela, Festival of Colour returns.

The festival, which is traditionally celebrated in India, is being organised by the Indian Association of North East Scotland (IANES) after a hugely successful event last year.

IANES treasurer Keyur Modi said: “There have been events for Holi over the past fifteen years in Aberdeen.

“It started off on a very small scale within the Indian community and it’s gradually become bigger and bigger with each year.”

Holi, which is a Hindu festival, celebrates the end of winter and beginning of spring.

The event will have a carnival where participants cover each other in dozens of brightly coloured powders.

Keyur said: “It’s a festival where people can play, laugh, forget and forgive.

“It’s a Hindu festival that became very popular outside of India. There will be dancing, live music and endless colours. It’s a real celebration.”

At the event, three DJs will play a combination of British and Bollywood music, a number of stalls will be selling trinkets, Indian food and the chance to get a henna tattoo, and there will be a bouncy castle for children on offer.

Keyur emphasised that the event was open to all.

He said: “Anyone can come and join in with the day. The idea of the festival is to meet new people and repair broken relationships.

“It’s very symbolic and positive.”

Since Holi first began being celebrated in Aberdeen, it has become one of the most popular locations for the festival in Scotland.

Keyur said: “We have one of the largest events in the country. I think local people here are very excited by it because they already love music and food from India, which the festival includes, and they’re embracing the colours of the festival as well. It’s a very welcoming community.”

Aberdeen Holi Mela 2017 will take place on Sunday April 2 from noon at Ashdale Hall, Westhill.