Hindu “festival of color” Holi will be celebrated in Brussels, which is the headquarters of the European Union, on March 27.

Brussels Mandir and Indian Cultural Center in Evere (Brussels), which is organizing this festival, is welcoming all to participate in the celebration.

Joie de vivre festival of Holi welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. Besides color play, ceremonies also include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; and celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Lord Shiva. Holi falls on March 23 this year.

This Mandir (Temple), opened in 2012; holds service, bhajans and aarti every Sunday followed by community vegetarian lunch. It holds various festivals/events year round and weekly yoga classes. It can organize Ramayan Akhand Path (continuous 24 hours) for €500. Shorts and Skirts are not allowed in this Temple. Before this Temple, Hindu families reportedly used to gather in area church/school for worship and celebrations for over 10 years. Parkash Gurnani, Ravindra Pal Aneja and Shyam Verma are President, Vice President and General Secretary respectively of the Committee.

Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended efforts of Temple-Center leaders and Brussels area community to keep the religion-culture alive in Brussels area with festivals like Holi.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this Temple-Center would focus in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

Settled in 580 CE, capital of Belgium, Brussels is described by Lonely Planet as: “a city of fine food, café culture, Art Nouveau architecture and the surreal”. It is known for its Grand Place, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze, Manneken Pis, pageants/parades, waffle and chocolate. Rudi Vervoort is the Minister-President of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region. Evere, located in Brussels-Capital Region, houses the headquarters of many major international companies.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.