How do American Hindus celebrate Holi

India, this is the land of (felt) a thousand festivals! With visitors, Holi, the festival of colors, is without question the most popular! There are now also Holi imitations abroad. But the original Holi festival in India definitely beats all imitations! Visit India during the Holi Festival to see entire cities in the color fever. An experience that you will never forget! We summarize the best tips so that you can experience Holi like in a picture book!

Even the cows take part in the festival, if not entirely voluntarily 🙂

What is the Holi Festival?

Like most Indian festivals, Holi has a religious background. The Holi Festival has its origins in the Hindu legend of Prahlad and Holika. Prahlad was born the son of the demon Hiranyakashyap, but developed into a staunch follower of the god Naarayana. This was a thorn in the side of his father and so he sent his sister Holika to kill Prahlad. Holika wears a sari to protect her from fire. So she sat down in a huge fire after her nephew Prahlad sat on her lap. Her plan failed because, according to legend, she was not aware that the sari can only protect her if she came into contact with fire on her own. To complete the victory of good over evil, Lord Shiva rescued Prahlad from the flames as a reward for his faith.

 

How is the holi festival going?

In many places the festival begins on the evening before the festival of colors with the burning of a pyre to celebrate the defeat of evil. The next day is all about colors, celebrations and friends. People move through the city and visit friends and relatives. The most important thing: Everyone throws colored paint or water balloons filled with colored water at everyone (really everyone, including strangers)! The exclamation “Bura na maano, Holi Hai!” Can often be heard. (Don't blame me, it's Holi!). Delicious holiday snacks are served everywhere!

India Someday guests after the Holi Festival in Udaipur - happy but exhausted

When does Holi take place?

The date on which Holi takes place changes every year, as it is based on the lunar calendar (similar to Easter, for example). It takes place every year on the full moon of the Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar. This means that the Holi Festival can take place in February or March.

These are the Holi dates for the next few years (the festival of colors is on day 2):

Holi 2019: 20.-21. March

Holi 2020: 9-10 March

Holi 2021: 28.-29. March

March in India still offers great travel weather for your India trip. This way, Holi can be easily integrated as a highlight into your India vacation! Just get in contact with us here if you would like to plan a trip to India.

One of the best places to celebrate Holi: Pushkar in Rajasthan © Jose Pereira (flickr)

Where do you best celebrate Holi in India?

While Holi is celebrated almost everywhere in India, it is most colorful and exuberant in northern India. In the south, the festivities tend to focus on the temples, while in the north a lot takes place on the streets. In our experience, the following places are particularly recommended for Holi: Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Pushkar and Udaipur in Rajasthan. In these holy cities there is simply a very special atmosphere on Holi! But there is also a lot to do in other places such as: Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Mumbai and Delhi.

Here you will find a few route suggestions for Rajasthan and tour ideas for all of India as inspiration.

What Should We Watch Out For During Holi In India?

Colors, colors everywhere! Credit: rudresh_calls

As everywhere where larger crowds gather, you should be a little careful. Similar to the Cologne Carnival, some exaggerate with the alcohol or the Bhang Lassi (Hemp Lassi), which can be legally offered and drunk anywhere. So it's best (especially as a woman!) That you are in a group. First get an idea of ​​the situation before you jump into the middle of the jostle.

Almost all hostels, hotels and homestays also offer their own parties, which is often the safest option. For a small surcharge, you can get colors and water as well as snacks and drinks. So you know who you are celebrating with and that the products are all safe.

The colors are what make the Holi Festival so special, but they also have their downsides. As a rule, they cannot be washed out. So wear old clothes that can get dirty. We advise against buying chemical paints. It is better to stock up on colored powders based on natural color pigments (henna, turmeric, etc.). Unfortunately, not all visitors will be so careful. Try to get as little in the eye as possible. We also advise guests with asthma to be careful.

If your hair is bleached and bleached, you also have to be very careful, because whether natural colors or not, colors on bleached hair often do not come out for weeks. Our tip: Oil your hair with coconut oil and put on a cloth. You should also oil your skin, especially if you are celebrating in a place where nobody will use natural colors.

Be with him tooBhang carefully. Many will tell you that it is completely harmless. It is also in small quantities, but on Holi it is often consumed by the masses. So be careful and don't drink from strangers!

How can We plan a trip to India during the Holi Festival?

For tourists, Holi is certainly an unforgettable experience

India Someday will be happy to help you with this! We will support you in creating the route so that you can celebrate Holi in the right place. We also know exactly which accommodations have the best parties. Regardless of whether you want to party rather low-key in a hotel or crazy in a backpackers hostel, we know exactly where it is best for you. And if you don't feel like doing Holi at all, then of course that's no problem either!

After you have filled out our 3-minute form, we will contact you without obligation, advise you and implement your dream trip competently and inexpensively. We look forward to hearing from you!