Holi Festival, also called the Festival of Colors, is a special celebration where people come together to have a colorful party. They sing, dance, and use colorful powders to decorate everything around them, like the sky and the ground. This festival marks the start of spring. No matter what your skin color is, when you join in, you will become colorful too. The more colors you have on you, the more good luck you’ll get for the new year. It’s a heartfelt blessing from the enthusiastic people of India and a nationwide party. It’s definitely something you should experience at least once in your life. If you’re planning to travel to India during Holi Festival, here’s a helpful guide for you.
What is Holi?
Holi is a big celebration in India that marks the end of dull winter and the start of vibrant spring. It’s one of India’s top three festivals. People in India really look forward to spring because they get to celebrate Holi with their loved ones. Holi is super colorful and is known as the most colorful festival globally. During Holi, everyone in India, no matter how old or young, goes a little crazy. Everything around you turns into a wild burst of colors. People, streets, and even the Ganges River water get splashed with colorful dyes. It’s a fun and lively time for everyone.
When is Holi 2024?
Holi is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the Hindu calendar. In 2024, it will begin on March 24th and end on March 25th. The date of Holi changes each year, so make sure to check the details ahead of time if you plan to join the Holi Festival.
Why is Holi Celebrated?
There are many interesting stories about the Holi Festival in India. One of them comes from Hindu mythology. In this story, Krishna, a beloved figure in Hinduism, enjoys playfully throwing colorful powder on shepherdesses. Over thousands of years, this myth turned into a special tradition in India.
Another tale tells us about a time when a ruler didn’t want his people to worship Vishnu, a Hindu god. But his son defied him and continued to believe in Vishnu. So, the ruler’s sister, Holika, was ordered to burn the prince on a full moon night. Surprisingly, the next morning, the prince was unharmed while Holika had turned into ashes. This was seen as a blessing from Lord Vishnu. To celebrate, people started throwing seven colors of water on the prince. The word “Holi” actually comes from the name Holika. During the festival, people also make statues of Holika from grass, wood, or paper and burn them in a fire. This symbolizes the victory of good over evil, with Holika representing evil. People light a bonfire on the night before the full moon in spring, called Holika Dahan, to remember how Holika was defeated by fire. The next day, they play with colored powder to celebrate the triumph over evil, which is how Holi began.
What are the Holi Celebrations?
During this festival, people in the area played special Indian music. They celebrated by hugging each other, dancing, and shouting “Happy Holi!” People of all ages went outside and put colored powder on each other’s foreheads to show good wishes. Some folks simply took the powder and sprayed it all over each other from head to toe. Wherever the powder landed, it made a fantastic and colorful scene. Some mischievous kids even mixed the powder with water and used water balloons or water guns to spray everyone they came across.
Where to Celebrate Holi?
In India, during Holi, people in cities, towns, and villages throw colorful powder. If you want to experience the excitement of the festival, you only need to be in India for those two days, and you can join in.
Holi is celebrated all across India, but different cities have unique ways of celebrating. Older cities have a stronger festival vibe. For instance, Varanasi’s celebration is more intense than Delhi’s. In Anandpur Sahib, Holi celebrations are called Holi Mahalla. Here, you can watch and even join armed parades and enjoy a week of singing the Sikh Bible and music. Jaipur is also a great choice. You can see elephant parades, elephant beauty contests, and traditional folk dances. There are also big singing and dancing events at Jaipur Palace that will amaze you. Additionally, Goa is an option. Their Holi Festival is called Shigmo. In Goa, you’ll be captivated by traditional street dance parades. Plus, you’ll see beautiful paintings depicting myths and religious stories everywhere.
What are the Tips for Celebrating Holi Festival in India?
- Wear clothes that dry fast, like a T-shirt, or clothes that are easy to clean and don’t need much washing.
- If you want to take pictures at the event, make sure your camera and glasses won’t get ruined by water, and wear a mask too.
- Bring some small amount of cash with you, but it’s better to leave valuable stuff in your hotel if you can.
- Be careful during the festival, not just with your money, but also to stay safe.
- They might have some strong drinks there, so stay away from those and people who are drinking too much.
Holi is all about having fun. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, people will be kind to you during this festival. Nobody cares if you playfully splash colors on each other or surprise someone from behind. If you wear a white T-shirt, it will quickly turn colorful. During Holi, Indians don’t worry too much about social classes; they just focus on having a good time. They forget about differences and disagreements and enjoy the festivities. Everywhere you look, you’ll see happy, colorful faces, both young and old, filled with joy and optimism.
If you want to explore India, experience the traditional Holi Festival, and embrace the vibrant aspects of life, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our experienced travel experts will create a personalized trip plan for you based on your interests and preferences, and we’ll provide it to you within 24 hours.