Paint was thrown and prayers were said as hundreds of people celebrated the Hindu festival of Holi.

More than 1,000 people attended colourful celebrations held by the International Siddhashram Shakti Centre in the car park of Harrow Civic Centre last week.

The Hindu Spring festival of Holi, or Holika, literally means ‘burning’ and also marks the victory of good over evil and faith over adversity.

Richard Claydon of London Fire Brigade, Harrow Police Borough Commander Simon Ovens and Inspector Mahil of the Metropolitan Police Service Ealing were among those attending alongside several politicians and candidates.

Raj Rajeshwar Guruji , the founder of the centre and guests took part in a Vedic ceremony including prayers and the burning of an effigy of Holika, the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu.

Conservative Harrow West parliamentary candidate Hannah David was at the event. She said: “I was delighted to celebrate this wonderful festival of colours with my friends from the International Siddhashram Shakti Centre tonight.

“I was really pleased to see that so many of Harrow’s residents came out to mark this very special event in Harrow’s cultural calendar.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who celebrates a joyous Holi.”