Hindu festival celebrates arrival of spring - Bollywood style

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A LIVELY Hindu celebration will include Indian food, Bollywood music and dance - and your chance to throw traditional coloured powder this weekend.

The Holi Festival of Colour takes place at Oakwood Technology College on Moorgate Road on May 20 from 7pm. Admission costs £3 to this ticket-only event for Rotherham folk, which includes Indian vegetarian refreshments.

This ancient Hindu festival celebrates the arrival of spring and the death of the demon Holika. It is usually celebrated on the day after the full moon in March.

The event is supported by One Town One Community and the Rotherham Cultural Group and is being organised by the Bharat Integration Group (BIG), a Rotherham-based social group for Indian women. The program is partly sponsored by Rotherham Council.

Group leader Gopa Raha said: “This is a great fun event and we are hoping it will bring people together from many different cultures within the Rotherham area, as everyone is welcome. The performances will be spectacular and of course there will be the traditional throwing of coloured powder, which is always the highlight. The coloured powder throwing is particularly popular with the children!”

A Bollywood-style variety show will take place, starring renowned Indian dancer Sarbani Ghosh, the Manashi Dance Group, and acts including Rotherham-based dancer Jaina Patel with local singer Ira Das Anuradha Banerjee and many more.

And there will also be a special celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of India’s first Nobel Prize winner, Rabindranath Tagore, who won the prize for literature in 1913.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Rotherham Arts Centre box office, or booked by telephone on 01709 823621. Tickets can also be bought at the door until 6.30pm on May 20.