Skip to main content

Holi Festival 2023

Holi is the Indian festival of colours and signifies the victory of good over evil, the end of winter and the arrival of spring.

For many it is a festive day to meet family and friends, play, laugh and forgive. Durham's Oriental Museum will be hosting its fantastic annual Holi celebration on Saturday 11 March from 12-5pm.
Celebrate Holi with us

This Durham Global Week Signature Event will see a fantastic team of student and community volunteers help the Oriental Museum run Holi Festival celebrations in roles as varied as DJ'ing, organising art activities, leading Indian dance lessons and more. Volunteering is a great way to learn about other faiths and cultures, as well as share your own knowledge and experiences with others to celebrate diversity in our Durham community.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Charlotte Spink, Learning Coordinator

What is Holi?

Holi is an annual festival that originated in India which has become a worldwide celebration and is enjoyed all over the world, including Durham. 

It is a festival of colours representing the victory of good over evil, the end of winter, and the arrival of spring. Families and friends celebrate this festive day to play, laugh, and forgive.

Traditionally, coloured powder is thrown to honour the Hindu deity Vishnu who is often depicted in religious art with blue skin. According to Hindu teachings Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu) developed his characteristic blue skin colour after he was poisoned. Krishna later despaired whether girls would ever like him because of his skin colour. His mother, tired of the worry, asked him to approach the beautiful Radha and colour her face in any colour he wanted. Krishna coloured Radha’s face and the two fell in love. Ever since, the playful colouring of Radha's face has been commemorated as Holi. 

For this reason Holi is also known as the ‘festival of love’ and many see it as a celebration of diversity.