Video courtesy: Paviter Kumar Noori
Holi Festival 2018
Last weekend, I headed down to the Brisbane Holi Festival 2018 celebrations.
I was drawn to this event for a number of reasons: it is a wonderful cultural celebration, it was being held in an area of Brisbane I have not been to, and most importantly, there was an organised public bike ride to kick off the festivities!
I saw this community event on the Brisbane City Council website – and this is what is said:
Dress in white for the Holi Festival of Colours at Rocks Riverside Park and be prepared to get dirty when the colour throwing begins. Cycle to the event with the Two Wheels Bike Ride and try yoga, Bollywood dancing, delicious food and dance in the rain before the festival closes in an explosion of flying coloured powder.
What is Holi Festival?
The Holi Festival is known as the ‘Festival of Colour”.
It is an Indian cultural festival that celebrates community, fun and colour. It is the original event where people throw coloured powder over each other as a way of connecting people, having fun and celebrating life.
To find out more information about the significance, background and rituals of a more traditional Holi Festival, click here.
So what happened?
Here’s how I first saw the event advertised:
Which sounded right up my alley! I’m in!
So I called my creative collaborator, Claire. We packed the car up for the day with our colourful bikes, dressed in white and headed out to have some fun.
There was lots of Bollywood dancing, food stalls, demonstrations and lots of DJs that kept the dancing crowd happy – and continuous colour throwing!
After our ride along the river, we were a little hot and sweaty. So, we grabbed some delicious lunch and hung out in the shade. It was great to watch groups of kids getting crazy, families arriving and friends frolicking.
That was the best part of the day for me.
The DJs really started getting going around 1 pm. By then, the crowd had started built and was in full swing, so we headed into the main area for a boogie and to get amongst it.
We were instantly set upon by happy festival-goers (our clothes were VERY white and obviously needed some ‘help’) and while we were chatting and meeting new people, we danced around and got drenched by water cannons and splashed with colour.
The Indian community is so warm and friendly. It was so affirming to see so many ages, shapes, nationalities, ethnicities and mixes of people – it was a delight to be part of.
This kind of event represents the kind of community that I want to live in.
Leki was a real hit.
When it was time to leave, Claire and I grabbed our bikes to ride back…and we got accosted from all sides by punters wanting to have their photos taken with Leki (and the flower helmet beanie)!
How could we say no?
A minor hiccup
We had a minor hiccup on the day – we missed the organised ride.
Below is the ticket I received after booking. Claire and I (and Leki) happily took off on the day with our bikes to join the ride. The only problem was that we didn’t have enough info to find the location for the start of the ride in time.
The location was far too broad – We’d never been to this area before and the GPS stopped us in the middle of a busy street – eck!
We arrived and drove around and around – there were no signs on the main road indicating where the festival was. Finally, we worked out where it was, but by then, we were too late to join the official ride.
So, we went on our own little ride/mission along the riverside, which was great fun!
We had an equally great time exlporing the new bike trails ourselves and then we headed back to join the festivities. By then, it was starting to really get going in the main arena – perfect timing!
We had a great day! We danced, got coloured and we rode our bikes of colours.
By the time I got home, I was very tired – and very happy!