By Jessica Anstice
Hundreds of community members from diverse cultures came together to celebrate the ‘Festival of Colours’ – otherwise known as Holi Festival.
The huge celebration, organised by the Indian Australia Community Cooperative (IACC), took place at Pakenham’s Living and Learning Centre on Monday 9 March.
The Holi Festival – mainly celebrated in India and Nepal but growingly worldwide – is an ancient, traditional Hindu event that marks the beginning of a new season.
Interestingly, each year the festival is celebrated on a different date depending on the phase of the moon.
“Traditionally in India we celebrate with the term called ‘Holi’ which obviously has a mythological meaning but essentially it is about celebrating goodness,” IACC member Mayur Meshram said.
“But the best thing about the festival is that is brings everybody together, regardless of their culture or whatever they believe in.
“It’s just an occasion for everyone to celebrate together.”
More than 300 children and adults spent the afternoon splashing coloured powder at one another, while dancing to two hours of non-stop music by DJ rucks.
“It wasn’t as big as last year when we had about 1500 people attend but we had a lot of marking – this time was a little more low-key for us,” he said.
Community groups and organisations from across the Cardinia region, including Pakenham SES and Tynong CFA volunteer crews, and Bass MP Jordan Crugnale and Cardinia Shire Council Cr Michael Schilling , demonstrated support by taking part in the festivities.
IACC, Tynong Fire Brigade and Pakenham SES have worked closely over the past few months to provide much-needed support for the Bunyip bushfire relief.
“People who were really affected by the bushfires have given us feedback that something like this brings people together,” Mr Meshram said.
“It’s just the whole combination of: it doesn’t matter who you are and the colours.”