Thousand turn out for Holi

The Mertsfield sports grounds were transformed this Sunday as over 1000 revellers celebrated the Hindu festival of Holi.

Those who braved the daunting prospect of a post-Wadstock hangover were rewarded with what one participant called “the best paint-fight ever”.

Taking place from midday until three o’clock, students threw coloured paint-powder and water at each other to symbolise the vibrancy of the coming spring.

One reveller said that he had been so covered in paint his pants looked “like a Jackson Pollock painting.”

Rajiv Dattani, Vice-President of the Oxford University Hindu Society and the event’s organiser said: “The event was a huge success. There were over 1000 people from all across the community there, and every single one of them really enjoyed themselves, which is exactly what we were aiming for.”

He went on to promise: “Holi will without doubt take place again next year, on an even larger scale with even more paint and water! Plus we raised just under £1,000 for Manav Sadhna, an Indian charity focused around children’s education and welfare.”

The event was so popular that all the hundreds of bags of powder sold out in under an hour and a half, and by 2 o’clock late arrivals were coming with their own supplies of paint.

Reverend Jonathan Herapath, a tutor in English Literature and Chaplain of Wadham College said: “The great point of Holi as it is celebrated in India is that everybody in the community gets involved – all the usual distinctions of caste, class, age and gender are put aside. If the celebration of Holi in 21st century Britain can also bring together people from the whole community … then that has got to be a good thing.”

One New College student who attended the event said it was “a fantastic event to be a part of. What was so great about it was, running around throwing paint at whoever was near, you really felt part of Oxford University as a whole.”