Ottawa: Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, issued the following statement marking Holi:

“Today is the Hindu spring festival of Holi. Also known as the Festival of Colours, this ancient religious festival is now also popular with non-Hindus in Canada and around the world.

“By spreading a message of peace and friendship, it is a celebration that can serve to strengthen our country by bringing together people from different faiths and cultural communities.

“Holi was first celebrated as an agricultural festival hundreds of years ago to say farewell to winter. Holi is also a time to repair and strengthen relationships and to look forward to new beginnings. Today, it is best known for its many colours, as celebrants throw coloured powder and water onto each other as a playful gesture to usher in Spring.

“For all Canadians, this festival serves as an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous contributions that Hindus have made to our country’s rich and diverse heritage.

“As Minister for Multiculturalism, I wish everyone celebrating a happy and fun-filled Holi.”