Holi Celebrations at Forest Recreation Ground

The Indian festival of Holi was celebrated in 2022 in Nottingham and was a great success, according to the organisers.

The festival took place on the Forest Recreation Ground and was organised by students in the Bollywood Dance Society through Nottingham Trent University.

People took part in traditional Indian dances, wearing henna tattoos, singing, throwing colourful paints, eating Indian cuisine and creating their own art.

Holi Festival Party

Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates love, spring and new life. The celebration marks the arrival of spring and the end of winter and is celebrated on 18 March.

The holiday is conceived from an ancient Indian tale of how an evil king called Hiranyakashipu was burned in a fire and his death represents new life. Hindus light bonfires on 18 March to represent the triumph of good over evil.

People of all ages attended the festival including families, adults and children but the main attendees of the celebration were NTU students.

This festivity was cancelled in 2021 due to Covid-19. Many people said they felt isolated and had lost touch to their roots during Covid-19.

They shared their appreciation for the commemoration as Simran Grover, a member of the Indian society, said his experience was “really amazing”.

Audio: Simran Grover describes what he thought about the Holi festival 

Drinking alcohol is acceptable during Holi as drinking alcohol is allowed in Hinduism. It is believed that the Hindu gods drank, so it is deemed appropriate for this occasion.

Dog walkers were alarmed to see people drinking at earlier hours in the public places of Forest Recreation Ground.

Katie Milburn said: “I was shocked to see such a large group of drunk hooligans at just 4pm – it frightened my dog and me.”

Although its not just alcohol that was used and abused, some took it further, using recreational drugs such as marijuana.

There were several complaints about safety from attendees of the celebration including from Nishant Doshi, a member of the Indian Community Centre Association, who said “some people took advantage.”

Audio: Nishant Doshi explains the dangers of the Holi festival

He said: “My friend got hit in the eye with paint and had to go to hospital.”

The Holi festival had a positive response from the people of Nottingham, the sun shone all throughout the activities and left the Forest Recreation Ground plastered in paint.

There were laughs and cries but overall people returned to their homes exhausted, merry and covered in paint.