Three thousand revellers gathered at a field in Tanjong Rhu yesterday to dance, eat and throw coloured powder at one another to celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colours.
As Holi fell on Thursday this year, organisers decided to hold the celebration on the public holiday.
The event, which also featured musical performances, was organised by Katong Community Centre's Management Committee, in partnership with four Indian community associations. Nearly 400kg of coloured powder, made of cornflour, was imported from India.
Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan joined in and had his face and clothes smeared with shades of orange, pink, blue, green and red.
"The Festival of Holi has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of good over bad," said Mr Lim, who is also Deputy Speaker of Parliament. "Holi Mela 2016 brings together the different communities and celebrates the importance of racial harmony in Singapore."
Revellers came from as far as Jurong. "I've never been to a Holi celebration so I wanted to bring my kids. It's like Colour Run but without having to run and sweat," said sales assistant Lam Mei Ting, 42.
Housewife Raina Khare, 32, and her husband moved here from Beijing two weeks ago. "It's nice to be around so many Indians and dance and enjoy the food," she said.
IT worker Keyur Master, 44, was proud to see his five-year-old daughter take the stage for a Bollywood dance. "If you look at what's happening in the world now, this is a good event to bring people together," he said. "It's nice to see not just Indians but also people of different races coming here."