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How to Celebrate Holi Festival

Are you attending a Holi celebration or maybe you want to host your first Holi and need some advice? Learning how to celebrate Holi is simple if you have the party planning tips you need to set yourself up for success. 

Everything you need to know about how to celebrate Holi centers around vibrant colors, great food and drinks and spending time with those you love. Celebrating the changing of seasons and good conquering evil together with loved ones is the key.

We have a comprehensive guide for you to make your Holi celebration an event you will always remember.

What is Holi?

Holi is known as the Hindu Festival of Colors, which is celebrated every year in March. Holi is a celebration of good over evil and the changing of seasons from winter to spring, or from cold to warmth!  It’s a day of fun, color and light to celebrate with loved ones and friends. 

What is the Origin of Holi?

The origins of Holi started from Hindu mythology, which includes the legend of Hiranyakashyap. This story tells the tale of a demon king who strove to be immortal. To create this myth, the king demanded that his subjects worship him as a god. However, his son, Prahlada, chose to worship the god Vishnu, which angered his father. But Vishnu was so proud of Prahlada’s devotion that he killed the evil king and goodness over evil prevailed.

Why is Holi Important?

Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil as described in the story above. Hiranyakashyap is celebrated for defeating the evil king. The festival at its core celebrates the victory of good over evil. Even better? The festival can be celebrated by all people and of all faiths. 

For Hindus, this festival also welcomes the season of Spring while also seeing it as a new beginning and a symbol of starting anew.

What is a Nickname for Holi?

There are a few nicknames for Holi, which include:

  • Festival of Love
  • Festival of Colors
  • Festival of Spring

What is the Message of Holi?

There are so many meanings and messages that can be spread during Holi. Many people wish each other a prosperous season of health, achievement and prosperity! The goal is to spread love and joy to your family and friends. 

hand smearing Holi colors on the forehead of a man

How Do We Celebrate Holi?

On the day of Holi, friends and family unite in a variety of outdoor areas like backyards, terraces, open porches and driveways. People celebrate Holi with bright colored powders that are thrown in the air and smeared on faces and clothes. 

How is the Holi Festival of Color Celebrated?

On Holi, entire streets and towns in India are turned upside down with vibrant colors. Towns, houses, backyards and more turn red, green, yellow and more as people throw these colored powders into the air, smear them and splash them on each other. 

Each of the colors carry a meaning. For example, red symbolizes love and fertility. Green stands for spring and the personal symbol of new beginnings. 

How Do You Decorate for Holi?

Anything that is colorful and festive and brightens up your home is a decoration that we approve for Holi. Some Holi decorations are listed below to get you started!

What Decorations are Used in Holi?

Decoration ideas include:

  • Colorful balloons for your entrance hallway to set the tone for guests
  • A variety of colored flowers
  • Brightly colored vases for the flowers
  • Lights of all different colors inside and outside
  • Colorful cushion pillows and curtains
  • Wall hangings that pop with color
  • Create rangoli with colors outside
  • Make an outdoor bar or turn a corner of a room into a bar area
  • Rugs that pop with color
  • Festive bedspreads and sheets for the bedrooms
  • Colorful towels in the bathrooms

How Do You Plan a Holi Event?

Creating a Holi event is easier than you think. Start by:

  • Creating a guestlist
  • Pick a supply of color to splash and smear outside
  • Pick a dress code and suggest guests wear a different outfit for outside activities
  • Choose your music
  • Choose games for the adults and kids
  • Create your food menu
  • Pick your Holi drinks
  • Party!
children celebrating Holi with colors

How Do Holi Children Celebrate at Home? 

Children can celebrate Holi by:

  • Reading books about Holi
  • Throwing colors at home with other friends
  • Having a water day in the backyard to rinse off the colors with water guns and water balloons
  • Eating and drinking delicious Indian food

How Can I Enjoy Holi with Friends?

Just being together on Holi with friends and family is the best part of the Holi experience. Friends are greeted with hugs and a “gulaal” greeting. 

The night before Holi, enjoy a bonfire with friends, which includes singing and dancing. Continue the festivities the next day for an all-day celebration. 

assortment of color powders for holi

What Should I Bring to a Holi Party?

The most important thing you bring to a Holi celebration is yourself and clothes that you can feel comfortable in all day. You should also bring a white outfit that you don’t mind getting permanently colored on as part of the celebration! More on that below. 

You can also show up with a brightly colored bouquet of flowers or a Holi dish or find out what pairs well with dessert. More on those delicious food items below as well!

How Should I Dress for Holi?

The goal is to wear white clothes, so you have a clean palate for all the vibrant colors to hit you. Knowing this, we recommend finding a cheap white outfit to wear that you don’t mind if it gets hit with many colors that no amount of detergent will get the colors out in the washing machine!

Look for basic white T-shirts, white pants and long white dresses. We also recommend wearing sandals since water is also involved. Cover your head if you are worried about the colors coming out of your hair when you are washing it later. Wearing white Kurtas, which are inexpensive pajama pants and tops, is also a good outfit to wear to keep covered but also act as a blank canvas for your color celebration!

What Are 3 Activities Used to Celebrate Holi?

There are so many Holi activities to choose from that we can’t pick just 3 activities. Here’s a list of pre-planning and day of activities to get you started so you can plan your own fun: 

  • Make organic colors for the festival
  • Create a Holi puppet show for the kids
  • Make a toothbrush painting activity for the young ones
  • Create a DIY Holi T-shirt activity for children and adults
  • Design color bouquets for the party
  • Make Holi desserts together
  • Make a Holi playlist for dancing
man celebrating Holi with colors spread all over him in a crowd

What Color is Best for Holi?

There really is no best color for Holi. Yellow is bright and popular and is considered one of the most popular colors for the holiday. Green and red are also very festive colors that people enjoy for Holi. 

What are the Different Ways to Celebrate Holi?

You can celebrate Holi by:

  • Hosting a virtual event if you can’t be together
  • Cooking a big meal
  • Organizing a painting session
  • Holding a reading of the tales of Holi
  • Planning a Holi movie marathon
  • Enjoying some thandai (see below)
  • Playing some Holi music and celebrating
  • Celebrating in style with exploding colors
  • Holding a water celebration to clean off the colors

What Special Dish is Prepared on Diwali?

Every dish is special during a Holi celebration. To find out which ones to expect and prepare for, read some of our top menu options below!

What Food is Eaten at Holi?

The food is such an important part of the Holi celebration. There are so many delicious meals to try that include: 

Barfi

This Holi traditional dessert is a dessert bar made with condensed milk that can be made with everything from pistachios to rose and saffron, combined with chocolate and almonds. 

Dhuska

Holi is a tradition that goes from morning to night. Dhuska starts the day off right. It’s a hearty fried breakfast dish made of rice, chilis, garlic and dal. 

Dahi Vada

This delicious one-two combo combines dahi (curd) and vada (fried dough balls with urad dal) to create a sweet and sour chutney flavored and topped off with spices.

Gujiya

This popular dish is made with flour, semolina and a mixture of dry fruits, which is then turned into deep-fried dumplings made in ghee and dipped in syrup and sugar. 

Kachori

This popular street food is a delightful fried snack made with whole wheat flour and contains a savory rich filling in the middle. It’s a popular Holi breakfast side dish. 

Namak Para Shakar Para

These fried dough delights are crunchy and served typically as a mid-afternoon snack. Even better? A delicious cup of tea pairs nicely with these crunchy treats. 

What Is Your Favorite Holi Sweet?

There are too many delicious Holi desserts to choose from. We’re hoping for Puran Poli, Gujiya, Malpua and Thandau just to name a few. We have some descriptions of two of our favorites below!

Ladoos

When we’re talking sweets, nothing brings it to Holi quite like Ladoos. This ball-shaped dessert is so popular at Holi celebrations that it’s sometimes thrown at each other and then later eaten as prasad, which is a Hindu name for an offering to God during a ritual. The eating of prasad is considered holy and is seen as a blessing for those that partake. 

Malpua

Malpuas are delectable pancake-style dessert favorites made with all-purpose flour, khoya, semolina and cardamom. The pancakes are fried in ghee and dipped in a sugary syrup. These perfect soft and crispy desserts are a very popular way to end a delicious Holi meal. 

two hands of people cheering with glasses of tea

What Do They Drink in Holi?

Holi beverages are just as important as the Holi meal itself. Below are a sampling of drinks that are likely on the menu. 

Lassi

This popular Northern India beverage is yogurt-based and blended with water and other ingredients. Depending on the spices and ingredients used, it can be sweet or savory. It’s never the same and can be made with fruit or without. The best part? A scoop of malai dropped on the top of the drink is the dessert twist you never knew you needed. A glass of lassi is typically the beverage you think of when celebrating Holi.

Thandai

Everyone loves a delicious milk-based glass of Thandai, which is a cooling drink topped off with a variety of nuts and spices. It’s a refreshing drink that helps beat the heat and is a great beverage to cool down after enjoying Holi outside. 

colors around packets of tea india chai

Celebrate Holi With Tea India

There’s no better way to end a great Holi celebration or a Diwali Festivalthan with a cup of cardamom chai. As we already mentioned, tea is a great way to pair with some Holi desserts too like Namak Para Shakar Para!

A good cup of Cardamom Chai teaCTC Assam Tea, or Instant Chai is a great idea for any time of day too! Contact us if you have any questions or want to find out where to buy our quality tea today!

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