One of Leeds’ best-loved – and most colourful – events of the year is back for 2023, and it’s going to be bigger than ever before.
Holi Festival – known as the Festival of Colours – is a joyous celebration of peace, love, happiness and equality through live music and bright colours.
Leeds Holi Festival 2022 was a triumphant success and saw 1,200 Holi Lovers making it the biggest Colour Festival in Yorkshire, but this year, Holi Festival are kicking it up a notch and are bringing 2,500 people together to celebrate – making it the biggest open air colour festival in the UK.
The event commemorates forgiveness and peace and is widely celebrated in India and adopted around the world for celebration.
Holi Festival celebrates the welcoming of spring and is seen as a time for people, no matter what caste or ethnicity, to get together and enjoy a feeling of togetherness, community and happiness.
This year’s celebrations in Leeds are set to involve the traditional dry powder paints, as well as the serving of street food, live DJs and performances right in the heart of the city.
Red is the sign of love, yellow is synonymous with healing properties, blue is the colour of Lord Krishna, and green symbolises new beginnings – and through the use of these vibrant colours, Leeds Holi Festival aims at bringing different cultures together with different genres of music under one roof.
Eshaan Kapoor, founder of Leeds Holi Festival said: “Our purpose is to bring different cultures together, spread love, positivity through music, colours and food. It is best known around the world for the powder that friends and families throw on each other and it’s the festival of love, peace and happiness.”
Holi Festival’s main sponsor this year is Leeds-based taxi firm Amber Cars – who will be providing festival goers safe journeys to and from the event with no added surcharge.
“We are proud to sponsor such a vibrant, unique festival and be part of Leeds Holi Festival,” said Tarlochan, Regional Director at Amber Cars.
“Amber cars will be providing safe rides to all festival goers making their journey safe and secured”.
British-Pakistani singer-songwriter, Zack Knight, will be headlining the event and providing the ultimate party tracks for guests to dance all day whilst being covered head to toe in bright colours from Ministry of Colours.
Other sponsors include Kirkstall Brewery and Slingsby Gin, with Punjabi Heaven from Roundhay providing delicious street food for the day. Through finding Yorkshire-based sponsors, the festival aims to bring like-minded people together to make Holi Festival one of the biggest events in the Leeds calendar.
Holi Festival will take place on 11 March 2023 at Beaverworks from 12.30pm till 7.30pm.
Tier one and two tickets have already sold out for the seven hour event, but remaining tier three tickets are still available to grab.
Yard & Coop – The Manchester institution taking the Christmas Markets by storm… again
Firm favourite Manchester restaurant Yard and Coop is back on the Manchester Christmas Markets this year, giving us our annual fix of fried festive favourites – and they’re clucking lovely.
Their restaurant – a staple favourite in the Northern Quarter – is also whipping up some incredible festive specials.
Yard & Coop Christmas Markets
The much-loved Northern Quarter establishment, famed for its buttermilk fried chicken, has pitched up once again on St Ann’s Square.
They’ve whipped up a menu of their classic chicken dishes, each with a festive twist, and you don’t have to look far to see someone walking around with a cone full of the fried stuff.
This chicken institute has made some of the best salt and pepper-loaded fries around. The sticky sweet soy sauce coats the fries along with a heavy dusting of the salt and pepper blend and crispy deep-fried seaweed. Obviously, they are loaded with pieces of buttermilk chicken breast, but that goes without saying.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the ‘Dirty Santa’ tray was certainly that. Fried chicken and fries covered in lashings rich chicken gravy, hot cranberry sauce and a sprinkle of parsnip crisps for a texture sensation. Even after eight billion mince pies I reckon Father Christmas would have room for these.
A returning favourite has rightfully made its way back onto the menu too. Chicken and fries piled high inside a waffle cone drizzled with BBQ and ranch sauce. It’s a bit of a messy one but that’s the whole point – you eat the cone at the end, so you clean up your own mess!
Yard & Coop festive restaurant specials
All systems are still a-go back in their Northern Quarter base in time for Christmas. Everything is better inside a Yorkshire pudding, right? Well, this festive craze has been beautifully adapted to incorporate Yard and Coop’s signature buttermilk chicken.
It’s Christmas dinner with all the trimmings wrapped in a soft Yorkshire burrito. Oh, and there’s a massive pot of chicken gravy to dip if you weren’t hungry enough reading this.
If you want to go the whole nine yards, the ‘Winner Winner Christmas Dinner’ is back and better than ever. Fully loaded with fried chicken breast, crispy fried potatoes, cheesy mash topped with homemade stuffing balls, creamed sprouts, cranberry hot sauce and buttered kale.
Sprouts are famously a bit hit and miss, aren’t they? Well, not these. Even the most devout brussels sprout hater would be converted by Yard and Coop’s homemade sprout bhajis. This little taste of India accompanies the real showstopper of the selection.
Yard and Coop’s ‘Boxing Day Burger’ transports you to that post-Christmas takeaway slapped between a seeded brioche bun. The signature fried chicken is smothered in their Ruby Murray sauce and stacked alongside cucumber raita salad, a couple of mini poppadoms and those delightful bhajis. Good luck getting it all in one bite, it’s a biggun.
You can find Yard and Coop on Edge Street and at St Ann’s Square at the Manchester Christmas Markets until 21 December.