Planning for Holi festival at Stage 88 on Saturday, from left, Amardeep Singh, Khala Guha, Sajal Jain, Raj Satija, Lalita Ajmera, Lakshmi Singh, Mohan Singh and Jeevendher Ajmera. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Commonwealth Park will come alive with colour once again this weekend, as Canberra's Indian community celebrates the start of spring and the bonds of friendship.
The Holi Festival of Colours, which was the inspiration for the popular Colour Run, is one of the largest Indian cultural events celebrated across Asia every March.
It marks the end of winter months and the beginning of spring for Indian people.
Raj Satija gets into the spirit of the Holi Festival of Colours event planned for Stage 88 on Saturday. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
''It's a festival of colours, fun and frolic,'' India Australia Association president Raj Satija said.
''As part of the festival we visit each other with some sweets, apply dry colour powder on each others' foreheads and forget animosity.''
The festival traditionally takes place over one or two days, beginning on March 17, but Canberra's Indian community will celebrate it this weekend. Mr Satija said they wanted to combine it with the celebrations for Harmony Day.
''The Department of Immigration liked the idea, so we are doing it on a bigger scale this year. We will be celebrating Harmony Day and involving multicultural communities, as well as Indian communities,'' he said.
The event will take place at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park on March 29. Performers from a number of ACT cultural groups will perform on the day between 11am-1pm.
At 2pm, the colour comes out and the park will become a sea of green, yellow, reds and pinks.
In 2013 more than 1000 revellers joined in the celebration, including a number of performers from the Chinese community.
Mr Satija said all Canberrans were welcome, adding the Holi festival was celebrated for a number of different reasons across India.
''Some people relate it to the religious side of things and Lord Krishna, some people relate it to culture and others relate it to the spring season in India,'' he said.
''But the fact is it is celebrated all over India in a really big way.''
He said if anyone has had a fight with their best friend, and they want to patch it up, they should bring them along and paint them to show all is forgiven. ''It is basically a brotherhood festival,'' he said.