You could enjoy the classic spring break trip to the beach year after year. Or you could do something totally new and different. If you’re considering a spring break that is really a unique and life-changing cultural experience, you should definitely consider traveling to celebrate Holi. Why? We’ve got a few reasons.
What is Holi?
Holi is a springtime festival that started in Northern India. It’s also known as the “festival of colors,” because one of the main ways Holi is celebrated is by everyone throwing colored powder onto each other! Traditionally, Holi is a two-day event, celebrating love and the arrival of spring as well as the triumph of good over evil.
The celebration has Hindu origins as well, celebrating the love between Radha and Krishna. Some cities celebrate the religious origins of Holi more seriously than others, although it has become a generally secular celebration, with festivals celebrating Holi happening all over the world. So, why should you think about traveling to celebrate it?
1. There’s amazing Holi festivals all across India
Holi isn’t confined to just one city! There’s Holi celebrations across India—and across the world. One of the coolest things about all of these celebrations is that each city gives their Holi celebration a local flair! Where to go?
- Mathura and Vrindavan offer traditional, multi-day Holi celebrations. If you want to experience several days of traditional Holi celebrations with locals and tourists alike, go here.
- Delhi puts on a super energetic Holi celebration. There will be music, international performers, tons of street food and colors everywhere.
- Varanasi and Pushkar for celebrations that are (sometimes) more chill and local.
- West Bengal has very beautiful and spiritual Holi celebrations.
Wherever you go, make sure you double-check when the various stages and celebrations of Holi will happen! Different cities celebrate on different days.
2. Experience Indian culture in a totally new way
Visiting a new country during a holiday or festival season is one of the best ways to get to know a new culture: you’ll get to celebrate with locals and enjoy unique traditions and rituals. When you visit India for Holi, the cities come to life with lively celebrations and you’ll get to join in on a day that unites everyone with laughter and color.
3. Indulge in special Holi foods and desserts
No holiday is complete without special foods to celebrate. Dahi wada are a very traditional food. They’re basically fried dumplings topped with yogurt and spices—a perfect blend of sweet and savory. Look for papri chaat at street food stands for a good snack throughout the day. Enjoy thandai, a sweet milky drink flavored with nuts and spices. When you’re ready for something sweet, try gujiya and puran poli.
4. Color EVERYWHERE
And when we say everywhere, we really mean it. Everyone, from little kids to older adults, will be stocked up with packets of colored powder. The easiest way to join in the fun is to get a water gun, like the locals. Stock up on colored powder packets in advance, as they’ll go up in price once Holi starts!
Pro-tip: prep yourself ahead of time to help cleaning up easier (unless you really want to
look like a pink smurf forever spend two weeks washing colored powder out of your hair). Rub any exposed skin (including your hair!) with some kind of oil or cream—coconut oil, lotion, sunscreen—before you head outside to help all the colored powder from soaking into your skin for weeks.
5. Let’s be honest: it’s SO fun!
What could be more fun than an entire city celebrating the arrival of spring by throwing colored powder everywhere, hosting giant parties and eating desserts? Nothing, that’s what. Enjoy celebrating, laughing, dancing and eating with friends while also turning each other into a giant colorful mess.
If you’re not sure where to go in town or where the biggest celebrations will be, you can always ask a local—a staff member at your hotel or hostel. Connect with other travelers while you’re there and celebrate together: when it comes to Holi, the more, the merrier.
6. Super cheap flights to India right now
Our flights to India are seriously cheap right now. We’ve got the discounts, you’ve got the time. These deals won’t last forever, though. If India’s on your bucket list, travel there now while these ticket prices are low! And, of course, take advantage of a unique cultural festival that could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Is Holi on your bucket list? Find cheap tickets to India and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!