Public invited to participate in powder-paint-throwing ‘Colour Fest’

Photo of people enjoying powder paint throwing at a previous SGAP event.

Bradley Stoke’s main Community Festival event at the Jubilee Centre on Saturday 9th June is set to conclude in a blaze of colour thanks to volunteers from the local Asian community.

The South Gloucestershire Asian Project (SGAP) is inviting the whole community to participate in a ‘Rang Barse’ – a fun music event with a difference.

SGAP chair Sachin Singhal explains:

“‘Rang’ means colour and ‘Barse’ means a shower, so it is literally a ‘shower of colours’. Whilst you dance to Bollywood party music, volunteers will shower you with bright powder paints, creating the most amazing, vivid colour explosion you’ll ever see. When you finish, you’ll be well and truly rainbowed!”

Poster for the Bradley Stoke 'Rang Barse'.

Rang Barse traditionally forms part of the celebrations associated with the Hindu festival of ‘Holi’, also known as the ‘festival of colours’. The two-day festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the end of winter and the arrival of spring. On the second day of the festival, known as ‘Rangwali Holi’, people chase each other around public spaces throwing handfuls of coloured powders at each other, while getting drenched with water.

Holi falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March, but with this year’s local celebrations thwarted by the ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorms, SGAP has decided to stage a delayed renewal of Rang Barse at this year’s Community Festival, giving everyone the opportunity to take part.

The initiative has received the support of Bradley Stoke Town Council which awarded SGAP a grant of £500 towards the cost of staging the event.

The Rang Barse will take place on the dance stage in the main arena, commencing at 5.05pm, and is scheduled to last for 20 minutes. An area surrounding the stage will be cordoned off, such that between 100 and 150 people can participate, whilst also maintaining a safe separation distance from spectators.

Cleaning stations with soft brushes will be provided so that participants can give themselves a good dusting off to remove most of the powder after the event.

SGAP advises anyone travelling to the event by car to leave a towel in their vehicle to cover the seat, or bring spare clothes to put on over their “rainbowed” ones.

Photo: Powder paint throwing at SGAP’s Holi event in March 2017.

Full programme for the 2018 Community Festival

Rang Barse: Frequently asked questions (extract)

How old do you need to be to take part?

Our Rang Barse will be open to those aged 5 years and over. Those aged 5 to 15 years must be accompanied by a participating adult.

About the paint: What’s in the paint?

Rang Barse powder paint is non-toxic, 100% safe and biodegradable. If you have a skin allergy or respiratory condition we would recommend that you don’t take part or that you consult your doctor for advice.

About the paint: How is paint administered during the event?

The paint will only be thrown in our designated area by our trained volunteer throwers. The paint will be aimed onto the body of the participants rather than the face to reduce the amount of paint getting into the mouth, nose and eyes. However we recommend that you consider wearing sunglasses/goggles to protect your eyes from the colour as you will inevitably get some paint on your head/face.

About the paint: What shall I wear? Will it get ruined?

Come along wearing a shiny white t-shirt or anything you don’t mind getting messy or perhaps wear something more unusual like a wedding dress, tutu or fancy dress! So long as it’s white so you can see the multi-colours in all their splendour at the end.

The coloured pigment should wash out of most fabrics, but some of the more stubborn colours may stain certain fabrics so please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting stained.

After testing the paint, we know that white is never white again after being rainbowed. The paint is water-soluble so you can wash the clothes as normal, but avoid washing it with nice clothes. As with anything dirty, the sooner you wash it, the better.

Participants are advised to read the full set of FAQs available on the ‘SGAP (South Gloucestershire Asian Project)’ page on Facebook.

The FAQs will also be displayed at the entrance to the event.

This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 19). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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