Eden Project Community Campers from across Northern Ireland plan colourful Holi celebration in Hilltown
Three community organisers from across Northern Ireland are coming together in Hilltown this March to put on an immersive event to celebrate Holi, the iconic Indian festival of colour welcoming the arrival of Spring.
The trio met last October during a life-changing weekend at the Eden Project in Cornwall, where they attended a Community Camp along with over 50 others from across England, Scotland and Wales.
Immediately striking up a connection, Martina Byrne, Mollie Cummins and Sanjay Ghosh found they shared a love of music, dancing and bringing people together, and came home determined to collaborate.
They have continued to build connections with each other and people in Eden Project Communities’ network across the country over the last few months.
The group are now combining their years of experience making a difference where they live to put on Holi in Hilltown, in the Mournes – the midpoint between their hometowns.
Holi in Hilltown aims to immerse local people in authentic Indian culture, with Mollie, Martina and Sanjay inviting the community to join in with a celebration filled with music and dance.
Combining Indian and Irish traditions, attendees will have the chance to dance to the beats of Chenda drums and Kerala mixed with traditional Irish music.
Or they can enjoy Bollywood dance and Irish dance performances, dress up in colourful Indian costumes and henna body paint and take part in Indian art.
The event will culminate in families and friends playing Holi together at a colour party where the arrival of Spring will be celebrated by a scattering of powder in every colour of the rainbow.
Accompanying the vibrant mix of activities, Holi in Hilltown will also see the community coming together for an Indian Big Lunch, full of delicious sweet and savoury treats, in anticipation of Eden Project Communities’ annual Big Lunch weekend on 6-8 May.
People across the country are invited to share food and friendship in a fun act of community.
Organiser Martina lives in Hilltown where she was one of the founders of Hilltown’s Women of Clonduff group, and is hosting co-organiser Sanjay’s community group ImageNation NI.
Martina Byrne said: “We are all living in different areas, but wanted to do something really special that links us all together.
“We realised there were so many Indian festivals and that a Holi celebration would be a perfect way to welcome in Spring to our community, as well as marking International Women’s Day (8 March).”
Sanjay Ghosh said: “Holi in Hilltown is a chance to embrace community, to be open to opportunities, and find a fresh new way to come together.
“We’re so looking forward to immersing the whole community in the culture and traditions of India with an afternoon filled with Holi music and dance.”
With each organiser bringing something unique to the table, Mollie is part of the Rooney O’Malley Maguire School of Irish Dancing with classes across South Down and Armagh area.
She’s excited to be able to share her passion for Irish Dancing and bringing people together to inspire others to become active in their community.
The Eden Project’s Community Camp, made possible by The National Lottery, aims to equip people with the skills and knowledge they need to put their dreams into action.
Available to attend in Cornwall or from home several times a year, Community Camp’s jam-packed, fully-funded programme offers a mix of practical activities, workshop sessions and network opportunities.
Funding for this event was partly sourced through Newry Mourne & Down District Council. Tickets are £8 and include lunch, with free entry for children (up to 12yrs old).
Guests are advised to bring a packed lunch for children.
Tickets are available at:
Get involved with The Big Lunch by ordering a free digital pack full of ideas and inspiration from TheBigLunch.com. To join the Eden Project Communities network, contact Kathy Black, Community Network Developer for Northern Ireland, at:
About The Big Lunch
The Big Lunch is the UK’s annual big date to celebrate and give thanks to our neighbours and communities.
Started in 2009, it’s an idea from the Eden Project that each year brings 6 million people together, made possible by The National Lottery and supported by Iceland and The Food Warehouse, PG tips and the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust.
People meet, chat and have fun in their neighbourhoods, annually fundraising £8m for local causes they care about.
This year, The Coronation Big Lunch will form part of the celebrations for His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort’s Coronation Weekend between 6-8 May 2023.
Find out more at: