Organised by Christchurch City Council on Saturday, February 22 at Ray Blank Park, Christchurch’s 19th annual Multicultural Festival ‘Cultural Galore’ witnessed one of the highest attendance in years.

The event had performers representing diverse cultures of 30 countries showcasing the richness and vibrancy of their cultures and food at the event.

“Over 30 countries were represented on the day showcasing their cultures through vibrant music, arts, dance, language and tasty ethnic cuisine,” a spokesperson from Christchurch City Council said.

“Captivating performances and great food with a wide range of activities for everyone, including stone carving, flax weaving, henna tattoos, baseball-hitting, bouncy castles, police speed radar, face painting, fire education and free play options were organised at the festival,” he said.

Members of the public present at the festival said they were delighted to attend the event like a family day out and to explore different cultures for their family and to experience a wide variety of diversity in a single place.

The day also marked the ninth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake, which was recognised with a minute’s silence.

The ‘compostable food packaging at events’ initiative was introduced for the first time, with the aim of diverting as much waste as possible away from landfill. This Council-led initiative was supported by Total Waste Solutions and was received positively by the public.

President of Multicultural Council of Christchurch applauded the efforts of all the participants for bringing an array of vibrant and colourful performances representing difference artforms and cultures under one roof.

“Christchurch Multicultural Council is always proud to support, promote and, participate in, this popular event to celebrate cultural diversity. Several of CMC members also participated in this event by way of stage performances and food stalls,” Surinder Tandon said.

“Events like these provide a platform for the individuals to showcase their talents and also the wider community to enjoy the presence of different cultures, the values they bring, their food, promote inclusiveness and harmony in the community,” he added.

Christchurch Holi 2020

The city will witness another annual spectacle ‘Christchurch Holi Festival’ on Saturday, February 29 at the North Hagley Park.

Christchurch’s annual Indian Holi Festival of Colours will brighten up Hagley Park for the seventh time this weekend and bring an important message of unity to Canterbury.

Held to foster togetherness in India, event organisers Hitesh Sharma and Sandeep Khanna believe that Holi is more important for the city now than ever before, due to the events of March 15 in 2019.

“Holi is traditionally focused on creating unity. The colours symbolise that no matter your skin colour, religion, background or social status, we are all one. We need events like Holi in our city to continue to show strong support for all of the people that call Christchurch home. This year we are promoting the need for kotahitanga – togetherness and solidarity as Cantabrians,” Sharma says.

Holi is wheelchair accessible, family-friendly, and strictly alcohol and drug-free. Colours must be purchased at the event for safety reasons. The colours are made from corn flour and are suitable for all ages.

The event is organised entirely by volunteers, and all profits are re-invested into future events and charities in India and Christchurch.