Embracing the colourful Indian festival called Holi

Traditionally a Hindu festival, but now fast becoming popular with all cultures all around the world, Holi is one of the most colourful, vibrant and fun-filled festivals originating from the Indian sub-continent.

Holi is a celebration of the start of Spring in India as well as the triumph of good over evil – a very positive message that we can all get behind! It is best known for the colourful powders, dyes and coloured water that Holi revellers throw at each other, leaving everyone coated in a veritable rainbow of bright colours by the end of celebration. Holi festival is seen as a fun and positive celebration for families, friends and all.

This year, Holi falls on the 1st of March.

Indeed, looking at the wider picture – Indian festivals such as Holi and Diwali among many others are growing in recognition and stature at a rapid rate.

This is due to the large and growing Indian diaspora in Australia. According to the latest Census figures of 2016, almost 70 per cent of the Indian diaspora resides in either New South Wales or Victoria and there is a total of almost half a million Indians around Australia.

These figures really indicate a large and highly lucrative market that marketers are increasingly sitting up and taking notice of.

Image Source – Tibet Travel

The Indian diaspora is one of the largest growing communities in Australia.

As marketers, we acknowledge that these festive periods are crucial to engage with these audiences as they are most receptive to brands that are present during this period. Time and again, research shows that festivals and community events have an amazing capacity to engage audiences in a highly credible manner.

Word of mouth also plays a very important role during these periods as the Indian community will inevitably share their experiences with their friends and family. Social media plays a critical role – the Indian diaspora are highly tech-savvy and well connected with their networks.

In Australia, many of the Holi festivals are generally held at public parks/ locations. This year, there are large-scale celebrations in both Sydney and Melbourne as well as around the country.

If you have never attended a Holi event, I encourage you to do so! These events are unforgettable! Some tips for attending the events?

Generally, people wear plain clothing as they will get nice and messy and very colourful. Coloured powder for the event can usually be easily bought on the day from vendors – and these days the colours are usually very environmentally friendly. Festivals typically feature live entertainment such as music and dancing, and the delicious Indian cuisines available at vendors further add to the rich, cultural experience.

Many Hindus eat a purely vegetarian diet during this festive period so typically all the food served at festivals is vegetarian.

At MultiConnexions, we believe that an effective communication strategy strives for an engagement based on cultural insights of the audience that the brands want to connect with. What better time can there be than during Holi?

Visibility in the market around auspicious periods such as Holi and Diwali ensure a brand connects to the hearts of consumers. Such events offer opportunities to marketers to not just create brand awareness, but to drive brand engagement too.

Happy Holi everyone!

This blog was written by Sanchay Mohan, Head of Operations/ Account Director at MultiConnexions and a proud Australian-Indian.

Cover image source: IAS

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