A splash of colour doused the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa as it witnessed the first ever celebration of Holi at the seat of the country’s government.
The festival of colours arrived at the parliament complex on Thursday the initiative of Chandra Arya, the Liberal Party MP from Nepean, an Ottawa riding (as constituencies are called in Canada), with the involvement of the Indian high commission.
More than 300 people participated in the celebration as attendees were adorned with ‘gulal’.
In a message, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “This happy holiday is an opportunity to renew friendships and celebrate peace, but it is also a time to reflect on traditional notions of good and evil, and the ultimate triumph of light over darkness.”
He added, “As friends and families come together for this joyous occasion, we must take a moment to recognise the tremendous contributions Canadians of Hindu faith have made to our country.
“Our diversity is our greatest strength. On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish all those marking this occasion a fun, happy and colourful Holi.”
There was also a dance-drama on the origin of Holi by the Darpan Performing Arts group. Among those present at the event were Canadian heritage minister Melanie Joly and India’s high commissioner Vishnu Prakash.