Holi festival is one of the most prominent festivals in India. During Holi, you will see people running and throwing colors at each other and shouting Bura na mano Holi hai!! (giving a message to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feelings towards each other), dancing and singing on the streets. Food stalls are loaded with delicious dishes and off course bhang wali Thandai.
It is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm and zeal, Every region has its own recipe, customs, and traditions to celebrate the festival and this reflects the diversity of the country. But a few places listed below are among the favorite places of tourists because of their amazing and unique style of celebration.
Holi, the festival of love and joy is celebrated for two days, starting from the evening of Purnima (full moon day) of the month Falgun with Holika Dehan or Choti Holi and ending with playing colors on the following day often called Dhuleti. Holika Dehan is the lighting of the pyre which signifies the triumph of good over evil.
Myth Behind Holi Festival:
According to Hindu Mythology, demon king Hiranyakashyap ordered the people of his kingdom to worship him and to consider him as their only God.
But his righteous son Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and he was determined to offer prayers to Lord. Getting furious with his son, Hiranyakashyap decided to kill him.
He told his sister Holika to sit in the blazing fire holding Prahlad in her lap as she had the boon of immunity from fire. Later, when the fire stopped Prahlad was sitting still praying while Holika was burnt to ashes.
Legends say that Prahlad was saved by God himself for his extreme devotion. Hence the celebration of the victory of good over bad takes place with colors on the second day.
As there are only a few days left in Holi, you must have already started planning how to celebrate Holi 2023. Still, there must be some questions in your mind like,
Holi 2023 Date: 8th March 2023, and 9th March 2023.
- Which is the best place to celebrate the Holi festival in India?
- Most famous dish to taste during Holi?
- What are some popular Bollywood songs about the Holi celebration?
- Different types of Holi celebrations in India?
- What is the history behind the Holi celebration?
How is Holi Celebrated in India?
- In India, the Holi festival is renowned for several styles at various places. People from one state may enjoy it while dancing or playing the DJs, whereas; in some other states Bhang is taken as a ritual drink.
- Yes, of course, colors are played everywhere around the country and that’s the primary thing about this festival. “Festival of Colors” – This thought comes to mind whenever someone hears or thinks about the Holi festival and not just in India, but across the whole world.
- Every Indian state celebrates Holi in its own way which is very special. During Holi celebrations, Hindu devotees walk around a bonfire in a ceremony known as ‘Holika Dahan.’
- Foreign travelers find the atmosphere very delightful during Holi. The food like gujiyas, Masala Mathri, Samosa, Puran Poli, and Chaats like Papri Chaat and Dahi Vallah, mal pua, and kheer, and drinks like thandai and sharbat are made to make the festival more pleasing and exciting.
- Music pulls them to sing and dance without withstanding security anxieties.
- Many foreign tourists just come with their backpacks, all unaccompanied, deprived of travel guides.
- They mix with the natives and go camping during the time of the Holi Festival and contribute at the basic level.
17 Best Places to Celebrate Holi in India
Take a look at how various places from different states of India celebrate Holi / Dhuleti and what they call it across India.
1. Hola Mohall in Anandpur Sahib (Punjab)
Holi in Sikh’s sanctified city Anandpur Sahib is really quite different. Regardless of the country celebrating Holi with colors, the Holi of Punjab is additionally renowned for signifying pseudo fights, an exhibition of weapons, presentations, soldierly skills, saddle-less horse-riding, tent fastening, and standing stiff on two fast-moving horses, etc performed by the daredevils of Punjab.
It is a perfect place for action lovers. This event is known as Hola Mohalla, Hola is a masculine form of Holi while Mohalla represents an organized procession like an army march.
It was started by Sri Guru Gobind Sahib in 1701. It is a three-day-long fair. Hola Mohalla is not just about mock battles or weapons.
It includes literature mastery, poetry competitions, music, and lots of Bhangra (folk dance of Punjab). Free langar is also organized by the community.
Hola Mohalla Dates: 8 March 2023 – 10 March 2023
Hola Mohalla Festival Location: Shri Anandpur Sahib, Punjab
2. Phakuwah in Assam
Assamese call Holi as Phagwah which is celebrated with a lot of joy and excitement for 2 days. On the 1st day, mud huts are burnt representing the fable of Holika Dahan. On the 2nd day, the natives celebrate with colors.
Phankuwah Assam Dates: Thursday, 8th March 2023 – Friday, 9th March 2023
3. Lathmar Holi in Barsana (Uttar Pradesh)
Barsana Holi is famous because of the Hindu gods Krishna and Radha. According to folklore, Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha’s village ‘Barsana’, and tried to tease Radha and other Gopis.
In return, Radha and her friends got offended by such gestures of Shri Krishna and drove him out of the village using bamboo sticks. Today also this tradition is followed during the Holi festival
How Lathmar Holi is Celebrated?
Men from Nandgaon (village of lord Krishna) visit Barsana to play Holi with girls of Barsana and hoist their flag over Shri Radha’s temple while girls and women are ready to greet them with sticks (lathi) and if by chance any men are caught by them, gets good thrashing and are dressed in female attire.
The Lathmar Holi celebration starts a week before Holi, where people dance, sing, engross themselves in color, and drink lots of thandai.
Lathmar Holi 2023 Dates: February 28, 2023
Lathmar Holi Festival Location: Barsana, Uttar Pradesh
4. Modern Holi in Delhi
Holi of Delhi is full of modern tastes from loud music to DJs and EDM, from Desi finger-licking food to videshi lip-smacking cuisines, from Punjabi lassi to bhang thandai, and undeniably a lot of colors. Many parties are organized for the Holi celebration.
But the most special among all of them is the Holi Cow Festival (Holi Moo Festival), an amazing way to enjoy the modern style of Holi at its best. So if you are in Delhi this year then don’t forget to visit this 8 hours celebration with over 40 artists. Some of the outstanding Holi parties to go in the year 2023 are listed below
Dates: March 8, 2023
Unite Holi Music Festival
- Date: Wednesday, 8 March 2023
- Location: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India
The Rang – Leela
- Date: Wednesday, 8 March 2023
- Location: The Friends Republic Cafe, Gurugram.
Holi India color festival
- Date: 8 March & 9 March 2023
- Location: Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit, New Delhi
Holiyapa Season 4 2023
- Date: 8 March 2023
- Location: Ministry of beer, Gurugram
- Date: 8 March 2023
- Location: The Game Forest club, Archview Drive, Sector- 58, Gurugram
Holi Moo festival
- Date: 8 March 2023
- Location: Asiad Tower Lawns, Siri fort, New Delhi.
5. Hampi, South India
Hampi is one of the popular backpacker destinations for foreign as well as Indian tourists. Hampi is among the world heritage sites in India, also renowned for celebrating the enthusiastic Holi festival.
Holi is primarily a North Indian festival so don’t expect many people to celebrate Holi in south India. Here, Holi’s importance is limited to religious aspects except for Hampi.
This town is located in Karnataka and during Holi, the whole town celebrates with drumming & dancing and later slowly moves towards the river to wash all the colors.
You can also spot many foreigners painted in colors.
Dates: Wednesday, 8 March 2023
Location: Hampi, Karnataka
7. Khadi Holi | Kumaon Region, Uttarakhand
In Kumaon, Holi rituals continue for around two months and are celebrated in a very different way. There are three forms of Holi celebrations in the Kumaon region, Baithiki Holi, Khadi Holi, and Mahila Holi.
Baithiki Holi is customarily a melodic get-together in a different form while for Khari Holi festivity; locals wear old clothes, sing Khari songs and have group dances on the tune of Dhol and drums.
They move in groups and meet the people who pass over. Mahila Holi is similar to Baithki Holi, the only difference is that it comprises only ladies.
Dates: 7th March 2023 – 8th March 2023
Location: Kumaon, Uttarakhand
8. Rang Panchami in Maharashtra
People play with colors on the 5th day post-Holika Dahan, which is known as Rang Panchami. A huge procession of people covered in colors can be seen singing and dancing together and celebrating Rang Panchami which is also known as Holi Krishna or Shimga.
People in Maharashtra are quite enthusiastic about Holi. On the special occasion of Holi, Pooran Poli- a special dish of Maharashtra is prepared.
Date: March 12, 2023
9. Manjal Kuli in Kerala
It is celebrated in the Konkani temple of Gosripuram, Thirumala with the name Manjal Kuli. Gulal is mostly used here for playing with colors.
Dates: 8th March 2023
10. Mathura & Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh
Every Indian aims to visit Mathura & Vrindavan once in a lifetime during the Holi festival. The Banke-Bihari Temple in Vrindavan is a place to relish the celebrations as it hosts a week-long Holi party here.
On these days, Bihariji is dolled up in white clothes and is moved further closer to his disciples to play Holi. Vrindavan Holi is frolicked with colored water and gulal, a form of color made using natural ingredients like flowers and Kesar.
While in Mathura one can witness, the best sight of holi through Dwarkadheesh temple. A colorful parade with dhols and drums begins from the temple to the river and is marked at the holi gate.
Dates: 8th March 2023.
11. Phaguwa in Bihar
It is essential to burn the Holika before playing Holi. Post which, Holi is played with traditional songs, water, and crushed colors derived from usual sources.
Dates: 8th March 2023
12. Dol Purnima in West Bengal
Holi is celebrated here by playing with colored powder and seeing the Chhau Dance. You can enjoy the variety of folk art in the Purulia district of West Bengal during Holi.
Pack your bags and enjoy Darbari Jhumur, Natua dance, and songs of West Bengal’s wandering Baul musicians.
The festival is organized by the villagers and accommodation is also provided in cottages and tents for tourists.
Dates: 8th March 2023
13. Basant Utsav in Shantiniketan
Rabindranath Tagore hosted Basant Utsav in Shantiniketan, Birbhum. During Basant Utsav, the students of this campus attired themselves in yellow-shaded clothes. The sight of all these youths festooned in such cheerful colored dresses is certainly attractive.
The cultural program that they erect is simply superb. The function of two days is very pleasurable and offers the students a great break to divulge their capabilities.
Basant Utsav is considered an important part of Bengali heritage and is joined by large numbers of tourists at Shantiniketan.
Dates: 8th March 2023
14. Shigmotsav in Goa
It is one of the main festivals of Hindus. This Fourteen-day long festival is celebrated with a lot of joy and fervor. It is a fusion of Holi and Carnival.
The main attraction of 14 days festival is the marvelous procession of street dancers, traditional and folk, and troops depicting scenes from mythology.
In Goa it’s never too late to the party and so is the case with Shigmo Parade which goes on till late with loud cheers, dancing, and playing music. On the last day, everyone is painted with the Gulal.
Even the beaches of Goa turn colorful, rejoicing this festival with scores of exhilaration. Foreigners in Goa also find this festival quite mesmerizing and playful.
Date: March 8, 2023
15. Royal Holi in Udaipur
On the evening before Holi, citizens light blazes to mark the event and dispose of the evil spirits in the Holika Dahan.
This festivity is executed at an outstanding level by Udaipur’s Mewar imperial family.
The extravagant parade embraces adorned horses and the regal band.
Later, the customary consecrated fire is lit by the current Maharaja and an image of Holika is burnt at City Palace, Udaipur.
On the next day, everyone is out throwing colors at each other.
Dates: March 7, 2023 & March 8, 2023
16. Elephant festival of Jaipur
Holi is an extraordinary affair in the Pink city, Jaipur. On this occasion, the elephant festival is organized annually by Rajasthan tourism.
The festival kick starts with a grand and magnificent procession of royal elephants painted with different shades of colors, decorated and embellished with heavy silver ornaments and embroidered clothes.
They enter the polo ground with their mahouts, thumping to the sound of nagadas and loud blows of bankiya (a musical instrument).
Various competitions are held among elephants such as tug of war, Elephant beauty contests, elephant polo, and an elephant race. Horses and camels are also present on the ground.
Date: 8th March 2023
17. Yaosang in Manipur
It is celebrated here for six days. It begins on the day of the full moon and is eminent among Hindu and native societies. The best part of the fiesta is the Thabal chongba, a Manipuri folk dance that is executed during this festival. To swell to the civilizations and uphold consistency, the Hindus of Manipur play this festival with colors as well.
Dates: 7th March 2023 and March 8, 2023
Holi is to be celebrated in India this year on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. This year Holi is coming on Sunday and Dhuleti on Monday so, you can have a long weekend at this festival.
You can plan from now, which state and what kind of Holi you would like to play with your loved ones. Also, avoid using chemically treated colors as they harm your skin leaving behind side effects. Use naturally made colors from Palash k Phool and enjoy this festival without wasting much water.
Top 5 Food Dishes to Enjoy During Holi / Dhuleti Festival
How can we celebrate a festival without food!! Holi is no exception, you can enjoy a variety of snacks and sweets on the day of Dhuleti. We have mentioned a few popular dishes to try on this day.
Gujiya is basically a Rajasthani snack made of Maida or Flour and filled with khoya and dry fruit mixture. You just can’t miss tasting this dish during the Holi festival.
Phirni is delicious Punjabi-style milk and rice which makes it a sweet dessert and is served in clay containers.
People enjoy different crisp snacks in their states during Holi.
Bhaang & Thandai
Recently during the Mahashivratri festival people might have enjoyed Bhaang so get ready to taste it once more during Holi. Bhaang is an intoxicating drink during this festival. Apart from Bhaang people also enjoys Ice cream.
Gol Gappe, Bhalla Chat, Bhel Puri, Dahi Puri, Sev Puri, and several more dishes can be enjoyed during Holi Festival
Top Bollywood Hindi Songs to Play on Holi
Holi celebration is an integral part of Bollywood movies and the famous dialogue from the movie Sholey, “Holi Kab hai…Kab hai holi?” is the best example of it. Here are a few most famous Hindi songs depicting the importance of the Holi festival and the celebration in India.
Music is the most important thing in India. Bollywood has every type of song to play on various occasions and festivals. Party people always prepare their playlists just before the festival. This playlist includes all the famous Holi songs from Bollywood movies.
If you are also preparing for the same then here are some popular songs to add to your playlist. Some famous Bollywood songs are Rang Barse, Balam Pichkari, Holi ke Din, and Holi Khele Raghuveera.
1. Rang Barse – SilSila
2. Balam Pichkari – Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
3. Holi Ke Din – Sholay
4. Holi Khele Raghuveera – Baghban
5. Are Ja Re Hat Natkhat – Navrang
Holi is celebrated in almost all parts of India in one or another way and has a special place in people’s hearts. Let us know in the comments how you are going to celebrate this Holi festival.
FAQs on Holi Festival:
Holi is a popular Hindu festival that is celebrated in India and Nepal, as well as in many other parts of the world. It is also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love”.
Holi is typically celebrated in late February or early March, on the full moon day (Purnima) of the Hindu month of Phalguna.
Holi has several cultural and religious significance. One of the most popular stories associated with Holi is the legend of Prahlad and Holika, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It is also believed to mark the beginning of spring and the harvest season and is celebrated as a time of renewal and rebirth.
Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm and energy. People play with colored powders and water, sing and dance, and enjoy festive foods and sweets. Many communities also organize public gatherings and parades, with music and dance performances.
No, Holi is celebrated in many other parts of the world as well, particularly in countries with significant Hindu populations such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It is also celebrated in some western countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, among others.