Taiwan holds only Holi festival in world

Indian spring 'festival of colors' held in Taipei on Sunday

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(Taiwan Observer photo)

(Taiwan Observer photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Due to its extraordinary handling of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), Taiwan on Sunday (June 21) was the only country so far this year to hold a Holi festival, and proceeds from the event will go to efforts to fight the disease in India.

The festival, hosted by Mayur Indian Kitchen (MIK), was titled "Taipei Holi2020 @ Thanking Taiwan for Helping India Charity Event" and took place at Taipei's Dajia Riverside Park. Although the event usually sees 800 attendees, delays caused by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) and the scorching hot June weather led to a smaller turnout of 130 this year, according to organizers.

At the festival, attendees from more than 20 nations enjoyed food, drinks, music, dance, watercolors, and cultural performances, according to the organizer and owner of MIK restaurants, Mayur Srivastava. "Most importantly (there is) a COVID-19 free environment because of the wonderful efforts by the various bodies of the Taiwan government to contain the virus."


(Taiwan Observer photo)

The Holi festival is a "festival of colors" where participants throw colored dye and powder at each other. The festival is normally held in March, but due to the pandemic, it was canceled in India and by overseas Indian communities across the globe, including in Taiwan.

However, as Taiwan has gone over two months without a local infection and because the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has loosened crowd restrictions, MIK organized the world's first major Holi event this year. Srivastava told Taiwan News that he is "100 percent" certain this is the only major Holi festival in 2020 so far, and that "For me, it is a real big thing."


(Taiwan Observer photo)

Srivastava said that Indian communities in other countries are unable to organize major Holi gatherings, as everyone is struggling to deal with the coronavirus. "We are thankful to Taiwan that we can follow our traditions, culture, and share happiness, food, colors, [and] life because Taiwan has contained the disease."

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the PM Cares Fund to provide aid to coronavirus patients, relief housing, quarantine costs, personal protective equipment (PPE), and research. Srivastava said that the event has thus far raised NT$30,000 (US$1,000) and counting, as many more are coming forward to donate.


(Taiwan Observer photo)

The festival started with ISKCON Taipei Krishna chanting followed by the chanting of Vedic mantras, shlokas, and a prayer for human lives and the world. Participants then enjoyed an Indian lunch before partaking in the splashing of bright colors.

The live band Bone Brand then took to the stage, including Boney Kross, Brand Thompson, and Heather Clarke, among others. Srivastava emphasized that MIK will match the amount that is donated, with donations still open until June 29.

Mayur Indian Kitchen has been organizing Holi since 2012 on a non-profit basis to bring the community together with the idea of "we are one world," similar to colors that blur cultural and ethnic differences.


(Taiwan Observer photo)


(Taiwan Observer photo)


(Taiwan Observer photo)


(Taiwan Observer photo)


(Taiwan Observer photo)


(Taiwan Observer photo)


(Taiwan Observer photo)


(Mayur Srivastava photo)


(Mayur Srivastava photo)


(Mayur Srivastava photo)