Holi: The Festival of Colours

Image source: JackF / Adobe Stock

This blog was written by Sanchay Mohan, Chief Operating Officer and Director – Client Services at MultiConnexions Group.

What is Holi?

Holi, also known as ‘The Festival of Colours’, is a popular annual Hindu festival falling on the 18th of March in 2022.It signifies the triumph of good over evil in South Asian cultures. Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. Those celebrating believe the vibrancy of colours is something that brings in a lot of positivity in our lives so Holi, being the Festival of Colours, is a day worth celebrating.

How is Holi Celebrated?

Traditionally, on the day of Holi, the streets are painted with a riot of colours as the community celebrates by throwing coloured paints, powders, and water on each other to mark the festival.

Each colour carries a meaning. Red, for example, symbolises love and fertility while green stands for new beginnings. People also splash water on each other in celebration. Water guns are used to squirt water, while balloons filled with coloured water are flung from rooftops.

Later in the day, families gather for festive meals. It is common to distribute sweets among neighbours and friends. Holi has become increasingly popular outside of India — in large part because of the millions of Indians and other South Asians living all over the world.

As with Diwali, another major Indian festival, communities with South Asian heritage living abroad often get together to celebrate Holi.

How Do I Celebrate Holi?

As a first-generation migrant, I celebrate Holi here in Sydney the same way I did as a child in India. Our family and friends come together to celebrate. A different relative or friend hosts us at their house every year, and it is usually celebrated in the backyard as it does tend to get messy with the colours.

Having recently become a father, I will definitely be getting my two-year-old son involved as much as possible again this year so he can learn more about his culture and heritage. We all put colours on each other to celebrate and the kids have a blast throwing water balloons and colourful water on each other with water guns. For us, this usually happens in the morning and is followed by a grand feast for lunch and a lot of traditional sweets.

Holi is culturally significant and meaningful.

Sanchay Mohan’s son Leroy was bewildered but delighted when celebrating his first Holi.

What is the Marketing Significance of Holi?

The Indian diaspora in Australia numbers approximately 720,000 as of 2021, and Indians are expected to overtake Chinese-born Australians by 2031, reaching 1.4 million. India was also the 2nd largest group of overseas-born migrants living in Australia in 2020 after England. With the tremendous growth in South Asian migration over the past 20+ years, Holi is only going to become even more popular in the future.

From a marketing perspective, this vibrant festival presents exciting opportunities for brands and marketers to tap into. They include the ability to gain positive goodwill and brand exposure, engage with the South Asian diaspora, develop meaningful brand-customer relationships based on cultural affinity, and promote products and services to a new and diverse audience segment.

Holi is also a time when the South Asian community is most receptive to brands’ messages. Word-of-mouth and social media are popular among Indians as they are highly tech savvy, well-connected with their family, friends and networks, and love sharing their experiences with one another.

Are you interested in connecting with the 1.15 million+ South Asian community during Holi and other culturally significant periods? MultiConnexions can help you develop a winning multicultural communications strategy based on cultural insights so you can grow your brand and customers. Visit us at https://www.multiconnexions.com.au/.

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