The action started as you entered the flagged area reserved for the Phagwa 2023 celebration at the Aranguez Savannah on March 12. You had to brace yourself as you were sprayed with colourful dyes from water bottles and super soakers by excited celebrants.
The sunny weather was perfect for a Sunday evening of an explosion of colour, talent and pure happiness close to the Savannah Villas. The Hindu community welcomed the wider population to celebrate Phagwa or Holi with them on March 8 and other days across the country.
The religious festival is celebrated in March of each year. It is customary to wear white so that when sprayed with abeer which is a mixture of coloured dyes and water, your clothing looks tie dyed.
The word Holi is derived from the Sanskrit word Holika, meaning “parched grains”. While this festival has solemn religious significance as a rite of purification to promote good health, the throwing of vibrant coloured powder and liquid along with joyful singing and dancing, creates a cheerful atmosphere.
Colourful fun at Phagwa 2023 in Aranguez
The young and not so young soaked each other from the front, back and on top of trucks. They ran up to unsuspecting participants with bags of powdered dye and pasted different colours on your face, hair and clothing.
The laughter and smiles were satisfying to onlookers. Children and adults chased each other aiming water guns and bottles with holes in the caps, throwing powder, and screaming for mercy while laughing heartily.
Even media personnel joined in the fun as photographers and their equipment were smeared and sprayed with the colours. Foreign journalists also interacted with the celebrants as they too expressed sheer joy.
Talent on stage
While half the crowd were having a time running around, the talent on stage satisfied the audience at the front and entertained the entire savannah.
The enlightening Indian music and tassa drumming echoed throughout the Aranguez Savannah giving the ambience of the rich religious and cultural experience of Phagwa 2023.
People were singing, clapping and dancing in the crowd to the melodies of the talented voices and rhythmic musical instruments performed on the stage. The entertainment went on for hours keeping the mood of the Phagwa 2023 event lively until it ended a little after 5 pm.
After the entertainment came to an end and the performers wrapped up to leave, the fun in the crowd continued. People were busy enjoying the company of each other even after the music was turned off.
Scenes of happiness
Around the savannah, you can see a burst of high-spirited emotions just enjoying the Phagwa 2023 celebration at Aranguez Savannah. The Hindus were very welcoming to visitors as they scanned the crowd looking for newcomers.
They greeted everyone, asked if they were enjoying themselves, and shared spraying equipment and bags of powdered dye with them. They ensured everyone was prepared to enjoy Phagwa 2023 as they should.
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Additionally, there were vendors stationed all over and walking around selling cotton candy, snow cone, kurma, pholourie, barfi, fudge, accra, hot dogs, many other treats, and fancy balloons.
A carousel added to the excitement as people spun, screamed, and laughed uncontrollably. It was indeed a satisfying experience for many who were already making plans for Phagwa 2024.
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