Hundreds gather in Cambridge to celebrate Holi Festival of Colours – by throwing paint over each other

14/03/14 Hindus throwing paint at one anotherPeople take part in a Hindu celebration of Holi on Queen's Green in Cambridge organised by the Cambridge Hindu Cultural Society. ..Pic - Rich MarshamA multi-coloured splash was spread across a Cambridge green as 300 people gathered – to hurl paint at each other.
Crowds on Queens’ Green on the Backs celebrated the Holi Festival of Colours, organised by the Cambridge Hindu Cultural Society.
Revellers flung paint at each other yesterday afternoon in the festival of love, as baffled passers-by looked on.
Holi is a spring festival and the celebrations include participants spraying each other with dry powder and coloured water.
Some revellers also carry water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their ‘water fight’. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments.
Devang Agrawal, of the Cambridge University Hindu Cultural Society, said: “Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed it. There was plenty of space for passers-by to avoid getting covered in paint.
“The festival is about a guy who wanted to worship the god Vishnu but was stopped by the rulers, and he revolted and did it anyway. It is also to celebrate the start of spring.”
Speaking during the event, Chris Williams, who was representing sponsors The Rice Boat Indian restaurant in Newnham Road, was splattered.
He said: “It is absolute mayhem here. There are about 300 people covered in multi-coloured paint. We are sponsoring the T-shirts. Some people are getting totally covered and a few passers-by have had a bit sprayed on them but have taken it in good spirit.”
Holi was originally a spring festival of fertility and harvest and also marks some Hindu legends.
The main legend is about Holika, who was a female demon and the sister of Hiranyakashyap, the demon king, who considered himself ruler of the universe, and higher than all the gods.
Prahalad was the king’s son but his father hated him because he was a faithful devotee of the god Vishnu.
The king tried to murder him by various means but he survived.
The festival also signifies the victory of good over evil. The date varies every year but typically comes in March.

Source: Cambridge