Visualize a crowd of people dancing freely under sprinkles of colorful water, throwing color powder at each other, and laughing uncontrollably. Now imagine you are in the middle of all this and have the time of your life.
Why not turn this image into reality? If this sounds like something you want to do, you should start planning your trip to the Holi Festival in India this spring. For a funny and safe trip, be sure to go through the useful Holi guide we have prepared for you.
Also called the Festival of Colors, Holi is a religious festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world. Holi`s celebration date changes each year. In 2018, Holi will be celebrated on March 2. On this day people gather together to play with colors.
Note that Holika Dagan or Chhoti Holi is celebrated a day earlier. On this day people burn logs of wood to mark the victory of good over evil. The tradition is known as Holi Pooja and is especially important to married women because it is believed to give their husbands well-being and healthy life.
The Holi rituals take place all over India, with slight cultural differences typical for the different regions. Some of the best places to enjoy Holi are India`s big cities like Delhi, Punjab, and Bursana.
What to expect?
Colors, colors, colors! And wild parties, of course! Prepare to be sprinkled all over with various colors. Brace yourself, because getting wet and dirty lies at the heart of the local festivities.
Except for playing with colors, people hug each other, dance and sing on the streets. Locals believe that Holi is a day when enemies forget their conflicts and become friends. Hardships and tensions are left behind to leave room for joy and play.
If you spend the day in Punjab, you may as well witness this region`s peculiar traditions – people shout loudly at each other and display martial arts. While in Bihar, be ready for a muddy experience as some of the locals play Holi with mud instead of colorful water. In Gujarat, Holi receives another unique twist. The festival is celebrated by breaking an earthen pot full of buttermilk that is tied high on a rope. Males gather together to form a human pyramid so that they can reach the pot. But that`s not all. The crowd is supposed to throw buckets of water on the boys forming the pyramid.
Holi may be a lot of fun, but it is important to consider the risks. Here are some safety tips to help you stay protected:
• Wear full sleeved t-shirts, leggings, and socks to protect your body from the chemicals of the colorful powder.• Apply a thick layer of coconut or any other oil on your skin and hair. This can protect you from the chemical substances and make them easier to wash later on
• Keep your eyes and lips tightly closed, so that you don`t swallow any chemical substances
• Avoid being out alone and try to come home early. Holi parties involve drinking bhang that is prepared from the narcotic substance Cannabis. This means that some people may get aggressive or abusive.
• Consider joining a safer party organized by your hotel or travel operator.
Stay safe and party hard! Spring is looming on the horizon and so is one of India`s craziest celebrations. If you happen to visit Holi this year, share your experiences in the comments 🙂