Ottawa’s Indo-Canadian community celebrates Festival of Colours

A woman is seen standing in a cloud of colourful powder being thrown into the air. She is smiling, with her eyes closed.
The Kanata-Carleton Indo-Canadian Association hosted it's first annual Holi festival on Sat. March 18, 2022. Photo by Kanata-Carleton Indo-Canadian Association.
Meara Belanger - CHUO - OttawaON | 21-03-2022
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Ottawa’s Indian community marked one of their most significant holidays over the weekend with a festival of colours.

Holi is an Indian festival celebrated during the eleventh month of the Bengali, Assamese, and Nepali calendars—usually February or March in the Roman calendar. This year’s festival landed on March 18, but annual dates can vary.

On Saturday, the Kanata-Carleton Indo-Canadian Association hosted its first annual Holi festival, an affair complete with music, dancing, and authentic Indian cuisine. However, founder and president Nagmani Sharma says Holi has become a celebration embraced by cultures around the world.

CHUO spoke to Sharma on Friday to discuss the festivities planned for the weekend, and the history behind the auspicious holiday.

“Holi is actually called the 'Festival of Colours,' says Sharma. “Or in India, or in our culture it’s the 'Festival of love.' Lots of stories are behind that, like Lord Krishna and Radha—they celebrated Holi.”

Listen to the full story below: