When a pandemic stops the world from experiencing different cultures overseas, the next best thing is attending a local cultural festival.
That's exactly what a couple of hundred Rotorua residents did on Sunday as they danced to Indian music, enjoyed Indian food and were splattered in every colour you can imagine at the Holi Festival.
No one was safe from being sprayed with colour water or having powder paint smeared on their faces and bodies.
Te Ahurei Holi O Rotorua was put on by the BOP (Rotorua) Indian Association.
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring, love, and new life, and is also known as the "festival of colours".
The festival was a long time coming after it had to be postponed last year as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Rotorua Primary School principal Fred Whata said he was happy to open up his school grounds for the event, describing it as a "spectacular extravaganza".
He said the festival was a great way for locals to open their eyes to the wider village of people who lived in Rotorua.
"Our school, which is predominantly Māori, are exposed to their own iwi and hapū but something like this gives them a wider perspective. And in a climate of Covid when we are shut off, it is a way to expose us to the wider world."
Maora Koopu, who is a teacher at the school, brought along her husband and children to the event.
"We had a feeling we knew what it was going to be like and it's pretty full-on."
Her children, including 2-year-old Mila-Jade Lock, were enjoying chasing their parents around and throwing powder paint at them.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick, who was covered head to toe in powder paint, noted she would somehow have to clean herself up before heading off to her next engagement at the BMX nationals, where she would be presenting certificates.
"It's been such fun. They couldn't have it last year so this has been a real coming out."
She said it was a great way to experience the diversity of the city and differences in cultures.
Where Māori like to greet people with a hug and a kiss, those at the festival physically touched your hair and face - while smearing the powder paint on, she said.