Holi is the Hindu Festival of Spring, Colors & Love!
Holi is March 28th - 29th, 2021
What is Holi?
Holi is beautiful Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil! It's a time for laughter, fun, forgiveness and COLORS! There are two main parts to the Holi Festival.
The first night of Holi kicks off with a large bonfire known as Holika Dahan. Hindu rituals that pay homage to good conquering evil are performed by the fire. It's a time for everyone to throw their inner darkness to the fire, forgive feuds and replace anger with love.
The next morning is the festival of colors - known as Rangwali Holi. This is a day to welcome spring and rejoice in the streets with music & dancing and by showering friends, family and strangers alike with colored powders known as Gulal! Vibrantly colored water balloons and water guns are also commonly splashed about!
Symbolism of Colors
The brightly colored gulal powders thrown about reflect the new emerging colors of spring! While many people throw colors just for fun, others choose colors by their significance in the Hindu religion. Here are a few colors frequently associated with Holi and what they symbolize.
RED symbolizes love, matrimony and fertility
SAFFRON is a sacred color of fire and purity. It's worn by those who are on a quest to seek light.
ORANGE represents the Sun and new day dawning
YELLOW symbolizes health and happiness as it represents Turmeric, a plant of natural healing
GREEN symbolizes life, new beginnings & harvest
BLUE represents Krishna, the Hindu God of compassion and love
PURPLE represents wisdom, peace and unity with God
WHITE is a blend of all colors and a blend of all of their meanings. It also suggests purity, clarity and enlightenment.
How to Celebrate Holi
If you can't make it to India to join the festivities, here are a few ways to create your own Holi festival with friends and family at home!
How to Decorate for Holi
To decorate your home for Holi, just add vibrant colors from floor to ceiling!
While each manufacturing practice can differ, Holi power is traditionally comprised of corn starch or rice powder, water and some form of food coloring. Coloring can be made from natural ingredients, food coloring or synthetic dyes. To minimize health and enviornmental risk, we recommed choosing powers with natural coloring like ones we've linked to above!
What should you wear to a color throwing party?
While the most fun color to wear is white, you can also wear tye-die or something colorful. While colored powder made from natural dyes often comes out of your clothes with just water or in 1-2 washes, we recommend wearing anything you're willing to part with! For shoes, consider wearing flip flops, rain boots or going barefoot if you don't want to stain your sneakers! If you'd prefer to minimize the amount of powder you breathe in, wear a breathable mask that covers your nose and mouth!
How does Holi powder wash out of skin, hair and clothing?
While every Holi powder manufacturer is different, we've found that the powders we've linked to above wash off easily with water. People with lighter colored hair may need a few washes to get all of the color out of their hair.
We highly recommend avoiding Holi powders made with synthetic dyes as they are more likely to cause skin irritation and permanent staining on clothing.
How to clean up your outdoor venue after a color throwing party
If you're hosting a small party, there might not be much clean up needed! If an excess of color is left about, sweep everything you can away with a broom, leaf blower or vacuum. The remaining color can be washed away with sprinklers, by hose or just waiting until the next rainfall! As most color spillage tends to accumulate near where your color stations are, laying a waterproof tarp under the color station table may make it easier to broom or vacuum up the excess power at the end!
Jam out to Bollywood classics or choose your mood with one of these playlists while you're eating, crafting or celebrating in the streets!
What to Watch on Holi
As Holi is a joyous time, we recommend lighthearted films with uplifting endings. Comedies and movies that celebrate the beauty of spring or the power of love and forgiveness are all fair game! A few ideas below:
The Origin Story of Holi
How Holi is Celebrated in India
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017)
A light hearted Bollywood comedy with a Holi scene. Toilet is the story about a woman who leaves her husband on the first day of marriage after discovering his home doesn't have a toilet. Stream with English subtitles on Netflix.