Holi 2024 Travel Guide - India's Festival of Colors
Holi Festival in India (also known as the Festival of Colors) is not only a festival about color but also a party for everyone. People in the street are singing and dancing, and they decorate the sky and the ground with a riot of colors to welcome the arrival of spring. No matter what skin color you are, when you come out, you will be colorful. It was the most sincere blessing from the passionate Indians, a carnival that belonged to the whole country and undoubtedly one of the must-see experiences of a lifetime. Here is a complete guide for travelers who want to take an India tour during the Holi Festival.
When Is the Date of Holi 2024 & 2025?
Holi is the day of the full moon in December in the Hindu calendar and consists of the Holika Dahan (the evening of bonfires) and the Holi Main Day (color fight day). In 2024, Holika Dahan is on March 24th, followed by the Holi Main Day on March 25th. And Holi in 2025 will be from March 14 to March 15. The date of this festival changes every year, so be sure to check the information in advance when you decide to come and experience Holi Festival.
Catch the Joyous Atmosphere of the Holi festival
What Is Holi?
Holi marks the end of the monochromatic winter and the arrival of colorful spring. It is one of the three major festivals in India and is renowned for its vibrancy and liveliness. During the festival, people of all ages and genders in India go crazy by throwing powdered dye, which covers everything in a surreal and colorful splendor. The streets, people, and even the Ganges water become a canvas of rainbow hues. The more colors you have on your body, the more blessings you will receive in the new year. For Indians, celebrating the Holi festival with friends and family is the most anticipated event of the spring season.
The Festival of Colors, Holi
Why Is Holi Celebrated?
There are many legends and stories about the Holi Festival, one of which is derived from Hindu mythology. Krishna, one of the guardians of Hinduism, is naughty and likes to sprinkle colored powder on the shepherdess. After the myth spread for thousands of years, it formed a unique local custom in India.
Another story says that in ancient times, a tyrant did not allow his people to believe in Vishnu, but his son disobeyed him and insisted on believing. Then, the tyrant instructed his sister Holika to burn the prince on a full moon night. The following morning, when the people rushed to rescue him with water containers, they found him unharmed, which resulted in Lord Vishnu's blessing. On the contrary, Holika had been turned into ashes. Thus, Every year, people celebrate Holika Dahan by burning effigies of Holika, the embodiment of evil. They then celebrate the victory of good over evil by throwing colored powders at each other.
Holi Powder in Different Colors
What Are the Holi Celebrations?
Holika Dahan - The Day Before Holi
People will light a bonfire on the eve of the full moon in spring to celebrate. Local people will throw and burn the Holika statues made of grass, wood, or paper into the fire. It is called Holika Dahan, which symbolizes that Holika was burned to death in the fire. For a more lively atmosphere, you can also join the grand paradise in Mathura from 3 pm till sunset, starting from Vishram Ghat to the Holi Gate.
Holi Main Day
On this day, the locals play traditional Indian music during their 'color battle.' People celebrate by hugging each other, dancing, and shouting "Happy Holi." Adults and children, men and women, take to the streets and put colored powder on each other's foreheads to show their blessings. Others simply take the powder and spray themselves from head to toe. Wherever the powder goes, it is an incredible and colorful world. Naughty children even mix the color powder with water and shoot everyone they meet with a water polo ball or water pistol.
Grand Celebrations on the Holi Festival
Where to Celebrate Holi?
Holi is celebrated all over India, but you can experience different festival cultures in different cities. Usually, the older the city, the more festival atmosphere it has.
Holi in Delhi is popularly known as musical Holi. After greeting each other with garlands, people play endless music in the background and begin their Holi celebrations by painting their foreheads with tilak, a traditional color painted to represent honor and confidence. Take a simple walk down the street, and you will find many Holi parties to join, with joyful groups dancing with color and music.
The atmosphere in Varanasi could obviously be stronger. As a city close to the holy river Ganges and home to those magnificent ancient temples, the color powder of this festival makes this city a little special. Gathering around the holy river, people begin their celebrations after taking a morning dip. The grand fair of Holi Mela is also held along the holy river, where you can see the Ganges dyed in color.
Holi celebrations in Anandpur Sahib are called Holi Mahalla. Here, you can celebrate the festival by watching and participating in armed parades, and there is a week-long program of singing the Sikh Bible and music.
Jaipur is also a good choice. You can see elephant parades, elephant beauty contests, and traditional folk dance music performances here. There will also be corresponding large-scale singing and dancing events at the Jaipur Palace that will surely impress you.
Locals Dyed by Holi Powder in Various Colors
The Holi Festival in Goa is called Shigmo. When you come to Goa, you can't help being immersed in the parade atmosphere of traditional folk street dance. What's more, you can see beautiful relief paintings describing myths and religious stories everywhere.
If you want to experience the ultimate rave party, you can go to the celebration in Vrindavan. A large number of Indians would flock to the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan to pray, which was accompanied by colored powder and flower petals.
Alternatively, you can also choose to spend the day in Mathura, where there will be a parade of floats, and the celebrations here are more moderate and relatively less crowded.
What Are the Tips for Celebrating Holi Festival in India?
- Wear quick-drying clothes, such as a T-shirt, or clothes that are easy to clean or do not have to worry about washing.
- If you plan to take photos during the festivities, make sure you have waterproof equipment for the machine, as well as glasses and a mask for yourself.
- Some small cash will be enough. Leave the valuables in your hotel if possible.
- Stay alert during the festival, not only for your financial security but also for your personal safety. There are some alcoholic drinks available during the festival, so keep your distance from hallucinogenic drinks and people who are drinking.
Glasses, Not Just for Decoration
Having fun is the spirit of Holi. If you are a tourist, the locals will treat you carefully. At this festival, no one will mind whether the attack is exaggerated and unrestrained or a motionless sneak attack from behind. If you wear a white T-shirt, it will become colorful in an instant. Holi Festival for Indians, the caste system does not need to be followed too much, and fun is paramount. They can temporarily forget the class differences and forget the hatred and estrangement. Anytime you turn your head, you can see a colorful and smiling face. Adults and children alike are immersed in joy and hope.
If you want to go deep into the region of India, experience the traditional Holi Festival, and feel the colorfulness of life, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our experienced travel expert will build a tailor-made itinerary based on your interests and needs within 24 hrs.
What Our Clients Say
CONTACT A TRAVEL EXPERT
1-to-1 Service | Reply within 24hrs | Expert's Advice
SUBSCRIBE TO WIN A FREE TOUR
Subscribe to our newsletter for a chance to win a free 8-day tour to Greece and Turkey! And more insider travel news, exclusive offers, and inspiration will be sent straight to your inbox.