Unity will be celebrated with bursts of colour when Rotorua comes together at a Holi Festival.
Te Ahurei Holi O Rotorua is being held on March 14 and is a free, family-friendly event presented by the BOP (Rotorua) Indian Association, and will be an afternoon of colour, culture and kai.
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring, love, and new life, and is also known as the "festival of colours".
It's a colourful festival with dancing, singing and throwing of powder paint and coloured water.
It is usually celebrated in March.
Te Ahurei Holi O Rotorua organiser Prashant Praveen says the festival is also a celebration of unity and diversity.
"There will be lots of food, music and dance."
He says the Rotorua celebration was meant to be held for the first time in March last year, but it had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Prashant says it is exciting to be partnering with other organisations and communities to organise the event, including Rotorua Primary School, where it will be held.
"It's an amazing festival for kids and it's an experience. It's a fun event and we want everyone to come try it out."
He encourages people to wear light colours (preferably white), to head along and to get ready to be coloured.
Rotorua Primary School principal Fred Whata says they were happy to hold the festival at the school so they could expose their taonga - their students - to other cultures.
"I think it's really positive to celebrate these occasions with those who become citizens of Aotearoa and Rotorua.
"Our school - students, staff and school community - are excited about this celebration and this is an absolutely excellent event for the wider community and families to join.
"We want this to be the first of many community events to be held at our school."
Rotorua Multicultural president Margriet Theron says after a tough year in 2020 when we were often not able to socialise, the Holi Festival will be an opportunity for families to have fun and to learn more about Indian culture, singing, dancing and food.
"Every time that Multicultural Rotorua supports a cultural event, we notice that migrants who had not previously been involved come out, help with organising, run food stalls, perform their traditional dances and songs, and form new friendships among people from their home country as well as with local Rotorua residents.
"Taking part in the Waitangi Day Celebration at Ohinemutu introduced migrants to aspects of Māori culture.
"Organising the Latin American Fiesta at the Night Market in January 2021 brought people from many Central and South American countries together. The Plunket Festival last Saturday brought young parents from China, Japan, Korea, and India together in a way not seen in our city before."
Coloured powder can be bought on the day. To keep an eye on event updates, go to the BoP Rotorua Indian Association Facebook page.
• What: Te Ahurei Holi O Rotorua
• When: Sunday, March 14, noon to 4pm
• Where: Rotorua Primary School