Brampton revels with colours of joy

Mar 28, 2024 | Culture, Life

Holi is a festival of colours that marks the arrival of spring, celebrated in India.

The festival is based on the legend of Holika, a tale where good is victorious over evil.

The festival is celebrated in two parts. The first was a religious bonfire, usually called Holika Dahan, which stands for the end of all things evil. On the day after, people continue the festival by smearing colour on each other.

Toronto celebrated its version of the festival with Toronto Fuzion Holi Season 2, held at 100 Steeles Ave. East, Brampton, on March 23, 2024.

The event organized by Bandish Banddits was attended by more than 4,000 people and became the largest Holi celebration in Canada.

Devang Gohil, one of the organizers, said 4,000 to 6,000 people attended the event.

“We have good music, good food and good lighting to keep the energy levels up,” he said.

Gohil said despite the large turnout, organizers ensured a smooth process, maintaining order and efficiency throughout the event.

“In the spirit of Holi, all the colours utilized were organic, reflecting a commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness,” said Banddits in its Instagram post.

Volunteer Jeet Patel said people of all ages, ranging from toddlers to seniors as old as 60 and older, actively participated in the event and seemed to derive enjoyment from the experience.

“Ajay Sarkaniya, who attended the Holi event with his family and friends, said the event was well-organized.”

“The parking could’ve been managed better,” he said.

He said that despite the parking lot being filled, numerous people were still attempting to enter and they had to park elsewhere and walk to the venue.

“[T]he event itself was not overcrowded at all,” Sarkaniya said.

“One of many volunteers at the event, Kinnari Rushiraj Shah said, ‘With us working tirelessly, we managed to keep the crowd grounded and keep the event going.'”

“It is shocking people are waiting outside in the cold to get in [the complex],” he said.

Sahir Singh, who attended the event with two other friends, described the event as fantastic, memorable and energetic.

Bandish Banddits’ Holi event showcased the vibrancy of Indian culture while providing a platform for community engagement and connection.

In addition to the traditional colour play, the event featured authentic cuisine and traditional garments and accessories at stalls, which added to the cultural experience.

“We have been doing Holi events [for] about six to seven years with smaller scale and now it got bigger,” Gohil said.

“We will have more festive events moving ahead, so you don’t miss home,” he said.