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Yellow, the colour of turmeric, a spice used in India, represents deities and happiness. [Photo @ Jake Greenwood]

Ottawa-area students help celebrate Holi with flying colours

You might have noticed clouds of colour emanating from Lansdowne Park recently. The cause was a celebration by the Association for Students from India who hosted a bash to mark Holi, the annual Hindu spring festival that marks a triumph of good over evil.

Event co-ordinators Aishwarya Purohit and Mugdha Manerkar honoured the day in the Horticulture Building, where 125 pounds of coloured powder was thrown in traditional Indian style.

Hindus consider orange is considered to be the most sacred colour. It represents saffron, a precious spice to India. The colour represents the “boring away of impurities”. Here, a young man is throwing orange powder off of a plate into the air. [Photo © Leah Coppella]
The meaning of Holi has changed over the centuries. Originally, it was a ritual that married women would perform, in order to pay respect to the full moon and bring happiness to their family. [Photo © Jake Greenwood]
Holi is sometimes called the “festival of love” for its ability to unite communities. Here, a family plays together, as they chase each other with stained hands. [Photo © Leah Coppella]
A woman has her face smeared in blue powder by another participant. The powder used at this celebration is organic and imported from the U.S. [Photo © Jake Greenwood]
All ages and castes are welcomed. Here, a man sprinkles coloured powder into the hands of a young child.  [Photo © Leah Coppella]
Some believe that playing with the colours can benefit their health. Legend has it that being ‘deficient’ in a certain colour can cause health issues. This can be cured by having a certain plant-based colour on your body, such as the powder used during Holi. [Photo © Jake Greenwood]
A man wipe off his hands as a young boy twirls around in the colour’s dust. Originally, sandalwood powder, rose leaves and other herbs were used.  [Photo © Leah Coppella]
The colour blue is representative of nature and also represents two important Hindus gods, Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. Here, a woman empties a plate of blue powder on a young woman. [Photo © Jake Greenwood]
Two teens stand in the colour. The mix of colours is are said to celebrate the beginning of spring. [Photo © Leah Coppella]
Holi also symbolizes the myth of Krishna, who would often prank women by smearing colour on their faces. Here, a young girl in a stained sweater sneaks up to the front to scoop the last of the colour to throw at festival-goers. [Photo © Leah Coppella]
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