By Gurbir Singh:

Last Saturday(2nd Feb), Christchurch’s Hagley Park turned into a riot of colours, music and dance when a record number of over 12,000 people joined in celebrating the Indian festival of Holi.

The event was a symbol of cultural unity with dozens of different ethnic groups mingling with each other, throwing coloured powder, dancing and enjoying the festival.

This is the sixth time the free-event has been held in Christchurch and the first one in 2013 attracted only 1500 people.

“This festival symbolises everyone becoming equal, it’s about forgiveness, it’s about friendship…this is what the traditional meaning of Holi festival is,” says the event organiser, Hitesh Sharma.

/(All pictures supplied)

Air canons were used to spray coloured powder over the festival area throughout the day.

A helicopter of the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Services dropped colourful petals, adding more colour to the event. This event also helped raise money for this rescue services.