Holi is a festival celebrated by the Indian subcontinent and the Indian diaspora across the world. In some Indian states, Holi is known as Dolyatra or Basanta-Utsav. The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year. Holi is also associated with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha, and hence, is spread over 16 days in Vrindavan as well as Mathura – the two cities with which Lord Krishna shared a deep affiliation. Apart from the usual fun with coloured powder and water, Holi is celebrated as it is Spring time in the Indian subcontinent.
Australia as a country has come a long way since Federation in 1901. With some 6 million Australians born overseas, Australia Day has come to mean a lot more than just another public holiday.
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The colours of the Indian festival Holi have extended across the globe, spread by Indian diaspora and those who appreciate Indian culture. Fiji, where nearly 45% of the population are of Indian origin, typically spends three days celebrating the festival and the country’s plurality every year. Fiji’s Multi-Ethnic Affairs Minister describes the event as one that breaks racial boundaries and spreads religious tolerance. Holi is also a public holiday in Mauritius, which has an Indian majority of 63%, and revellers throw colour with as much enthusiasm on the tiny island off the south eastern coast of Africa as they do in Holi’s homeland. Leicester, UK, which also has a large Indian community, sees upwards of 15,000 people celebrate each year, painting a normally green part of England, not only red, but pink, blue and yellow. Singapore becomes a mini India during the Holi festival.