Wellingtonians will miss out on a grand celebration of the festival of colours this year due to delay in sourcing special colours to be used in the event.

Nearly three-quarter of a ton of special colours are imported from the particular market in Mumbai and Ahmedabad in India every year for the Holi festival that is attended by thousands of Wellingtonians.

The event earlier scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 13 at a Wellington City issued venue in the capital city was called off by the organisers citing delay in colour import as the primary issue, and scarcity of resources for the event.

Speaking to the Indian Weekender organiser of the event Ashwyn Sathanantham said the event was not possible to be held as it takes at least six to eight weeks after purchasing the colours to reach its destination of order, but due to Covid restrictions and lesser flights between the countries, the shipping delay was even longer.

“We get selected quality of colours, the best product from the wholesale markets in the two cities, but the delay is longer than anticipated.

“Even if we reduce the quantity to half a ton, it was not possible to buy it at a retail price from somewhere else,” Ashwyn said.

Ashwyn, a data special by profession and an event planner and DJ by as his personal interest added that besides arranging a massive stock of colours, a lot of work needs to be done behind the scenes that require months of preparation which was not possible this year due to several business closures last year and several hiccups due to Covid.

“What people see on the stage is a culmination of months of work such as reserving a date, venue, arranging the fencing for the venue, booking the security, volunteers, stage assembly, promotions, food stalls, music and DJ and much more,” Ashwyn added.

The event receives several thousand visitors on the event day, and it’s an excellent ambience for families, not just Indians, but wider communities come together and celebrate the festival.

“Wellingtonians are sad that we could not go ahead with the festival- we get people from all over the city and far away suburbs at one venue, men, women and children playing colours, dancing to live DJ but it was just not feasible this year.

“We also look for support from local businesses as sponsors, but due to losses and closures last year, they were not in the place to make a budget for sponsorships this year,” Ashwyn said.

DJ Ashwyn Sathanantham

Wellington is also said to be the capital city of events and every weekend is booked with several events by different communities and at almost all major suburbs and events venues.

“We received all the possible permissions from Wellington City Council, and other venue but due to several major and minor factors, we had to pull the plug on the event.

“I informed the Council earlier last month that hosting the event this year was not possible,” Ashwyn added.