The celebrations of Holi are not limited to the Indian subcontinent alone. Taiwan is another region where this spring festival of colors is celebrated every year with much vigor.
This year, it will be held on April 10 and the funds collected from the event will be donated to the families of Hualien train crash victims.
Such was the enthusiasm of the Taiwanese people that they went on celebrating Holi despite the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The island nation, which has territorial disputes with China, enjoys fairly good ties with India. It also has a small community of ‘overseas Indians’ — 3,446, according to data available with India’s Ministery of External Affairs.
What makes this year’s event more significant is that the organizers will be donating the funds collected from the festival to the families of the Hualien train accident victims.
On April 2, a Taroko Express train operated by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) derailed at the north entrance of Qingshui Tunnel in Hualien County, killing at least 50 people and injuring 200 others. This is the worst train disaster in Taiwan in decades.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) March 29, 2021
Titled ‘Indian Holi Festival Taipei 2021’, the event is being hosted by Bharatiya Kar Seva Mandali Taiwan (BKMT). It will be held at New Taipei City’s Green River Park, near the Dingxi MRT station, on Saturday.
While the tickets for the festival are priced at NT$450 (US$15.8), the entry of children below 3 years is free. The event will include an Indian vegetarian lunch, snacks, bottled water, beverages, and most importantly, colors.
The colors would be completely organic, non-flammable, non-toxic, and water-based which is easily washable. The use of colored powders is not allowed in Taiwan.
In India, Holi is celebrated across the country. Although it is rooted in the Hindu tradition of celebrating the triumph of good over evil, the festival has gained a secular hue over the centuries. It symbolizes the symbiotic culture of India.
Even in the Mughal era, Holi was celebrated with the same fervor and gusto as Eid. It is played with colored powders, known as gulaal, and water-based colors which people throw and apply at each other in an expression of joy.