THERE will be a riot of colour today when hundreds of people gather at a Southampton temple to celebrate a major festival in the Hindu calendar.

Worshippers will be throwing red powder during the evening at the Vedic Hindu Society Temple to celebrate the arrival of spring along with hundreds of millions in the Indian subcontinent.

Last year saw hundreds of people arrive at the Radcliffe Road temple to gather around a bonfire and celebrate the triumph of good over evil but this year the temple priest Ritesh Bhatt expects there to be even more onlookers.

“I think there will be more this year because the festival falls on a Sunday. I’m hoping to see many hundreds of people here.

“I think there will be a good turn out as this festival is not just for Hindus, everyone can join in.

“The festival allows people to destroy any negative thoughts and to pray to God for life and to bring light into our hearts.

“I think everybody can come and join us, they can come round and have fun.”

Falling at the start of spring the festival celebrates the victory of good over evil among the Hindu gods with the lighting of bonfires, the throwing of scented coloured powder over people and celebrating wildly.

Some families hold religious ceremonies, but for many Holi is more a time for fun than religious observance.

As the powder is thrown worshippers recite a chant which loosely translates as a welcome greeting in English.

The Vedic Society Hindu Temple will be holding a presentation explaining the significance of Holi at 6.15pm followed by prayers at 6.30pm. Both the lighting of the bonfire and the powder-throwing will begin in the temple car park at 6.50pm until 8pm The temple car park will be shut from 3pm.