Join with The Hague’s Indian community as they celebrate the Holi Festival in Wijkpark Transvaal on Thursday, 21 March. In the afternoon a colourful procession will wind its way through the streets of Transvaal and the Schilderswijk.
Millions of people around the world celebrate the annual Holi Hangámá Festival, also known as the Festival of Colours. For Hindus it is a celebration of the arrival of spring, the New Year and victory all in one. Because the largest Indian population in Europe (outside of the UK) can be found in The Hague, the festival in The Hague is one of the largest in Europe. Non-Indians take part in the festivities as well.
The highlight of the Holi celebrations is the procession through the multicultural Transvaal and Schilderswijk neighbourhoods. Participants in the procession throw brightly coloured powder on themselves and at each other to show that spring has begun.
The route goes from Wijkpark Transvaal, via Schalkburgerstraat, Kempstraat, Hobbemaplein, Hobbemastraat, Breugelstraat, to the Ruysdaelstraat and back via the Hobbemaplein. The procession starts at 14.00 hrs. and returns to Wijkpark Transvaal at 15.00 hrs.
Free entertainment will start at 13.00 hrs. and will feature live music, DJs, dance and vocals. The festival will end at 18.00 hrs.
During the evening preceding the Holi Festival, a priest (the pandit) lights a pile of wood surrounding a Holiká plant which was planted there 40 days earlier. According to tradition, the fire destroys the evil. This Holiká Dahan ceremony will last from 15.00 to 17.00 hrs. on Thursday, 1 March in Wijkpark Transvaal.
The Holi festival will be held from 13.00 to 18.00 hrs. on Friday, 21 March at the Wijkpark Transvaal (entrance at the intersection of the Schalk Burgerstraat and Paul Krugerlaan).
Everyone is welcome and the entrance is free. There is no special dress code for the day but organisers are asking everyone to come dressed in white.
The full programme can be found at www.holisamen.nl.