I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the Co-op’s Rise Network and tell you all about my favourite Hindu festival – Holi.

I’ve been working with the Co-op for over 2 years now initially working as a Commercial Analyst and now within the Co-op’s Data Management Team as a Business Analyst.

I was born and raised here in the UK with my roots going back to India. I grew up in Manchester with a traditional Hindu family. Me and my two sisters were all taught the basis of Hinduism. It’s so exciting to have been part of this Holi celebration every year since birth.

What is Holi? 

Every year, at the beginning of spring in India, is our openhearted Holi Festival – a.k.a an all-out dry powdered paint war!

Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, has a long tradition rooted deeply in Hinduism. For many, it’s a day to forgive and create new beginnings. Like many other festivals in India, Holi signifies a victory of good over evil. We celebrate the joy of friendship, the coming of spring and equality for all.

While it is unknown exactly when Holi dates back to, the first mention is believed to have been in 4th century.  

What can you expect on Holi? 

Holi took place this year on 20 March. During the festival, our friends and family all gather together and play Holi outside and splash each other with bright powdered colours. The brighter the colour, the better.

The coloured powders that we use in Holi represents love, happiness, and the freedom we have to live our lives vibrantly. Holi is celebrated across the globe, including here in England. Back in 2016, I lived and worked in New York and I was proud to have joined a beautiful crowd playing Holi on 48th Street.

You’ll never have experienced anything like this…people chasing each other equipped with packets of dry powdered paint, splashing everyone from head to toe in colour whilst singing and dancing their hearts out to classical Bollywood or Bhangra music. It’s a free-for-all…and so much fun.

It’s a time where we all get to connect with our family and friends, meet others, laugh and forget our worries.

What I love the most about Holi is the fact that we all have a smile on our faces – enjoying the company of everyone around us. You feel proud to be part of a festival where you can see people happy on such a big scale. It’s amazing, wonderfully different, a congregation of music, food and colours. There is no better way to experience the Indian culture than to celebrate the Holi festival.

Kavita Mistry
Business Analyst

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