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LEICESTER’S Spinney Hill Park was alive with colour and positive energy today, with the arrival of the Holi Festival of Colours.

Thousands of people turned out for the popular Hindu festival today (March 17), which marks the beginning of Spring and the triumph of good over evil.

It is the first time that the event, also known as The Festival of Colours, has taken place in two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making it extra special say organisers.

“This is mainly to draw in all the public and the community and bring them all together – to reunite,” said organiser Jagdish Chauhan.

“Over the Covid period people have dispersed and this is a perfect chance for people getting together.

“This celebration is world-wide and the sprinkling of the colours is like bringing in the rainbow itself – bringing in new things to your life,” he explained. “It’s about getting rid of negativity.”

“I feel fantastic and the celebrations will go on throughout the evening.”

The event was opened by Leicester’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Deepak Bajaj, who joined in with the festivities, which included colour throwing and live music, plus a religious ceremony and the lighting of a bonfire.

Festival goers got involved in the rituals, which also included the throwing of grains, popcorn, coconut and chickpeas onto the fire.

Holi also celebrates the Hindu god Krishna and the legend of Holika and Prahlad.

“Today is loads of positive energy and a day when we forget the past and look to the future,” said one very colourful spectator at the event.

“We’re glad Covid is gone and we are all celebrating. It’s very, very special.”

By Louise Steel