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Holi Festival Tour with a Local Guide

In March of 2015, we found ourselves in Delhi a few days before the annual Holi Festival. Making it to Holi has been high on my list for a bunch of years now, and we finally got a chance to go this year.

We booked a Holi Festival tour from Delhi and celebrated Holi in the traditional city of Vrindavan. The colors and chaos of the Holi festival tour were the highlights of our 8 days in India.

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History of the Holi Festival

The Holi Festival is based on a Hindu legend about two important figures of the religion, Lord Krishna and Radha. Krishna, who is typically depicted as blue or very dark in color, was said to be jealous of Radha’s light-colored skin.

One day when Krishna was in a mischievous mood, he took colors and smeared them all over Radha’s face. The tradition of coloring the face of someone you love is still alive and well today in India.

Holi Festival Tour 2

In modern times, the entire country plays Holi and every full moon in the month of March the entire country is covered in bright colors. People throw or smear intensely colored powders on to everyone they pass.

Others fill buckets and squirt guns with a water and dye mixture to drench other festival-goers in color. Within moments of getting into the main area of town where Holi was played, we were covered in color from head to toe.

Photos from the Holi Festival Tour

The brilliant colors on people’s faces made for some amazing photos. The vibrant reds, purples, and yellows made for such playful and interesting pictures. Spirits are high during the festival and most people enjoyed getting their picture taken with the colors on their faces.

Everyone wanted their picture with us too, which we obliged to build up our photo karma. However, after the picture, they would usually add another layer of color to our already plastered faces.

Where’s the best place to celebrate Holi

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We celebrated Holi in the city of Vrindavan which is said to be one of the best places to celebrate Holi. The Holi Festival is taken to a more extreme level in Vrindavan. This area was the home of Krishna, and where the roots of the festival started.

The Holi festival goes on here for nearly a week with the day of the full moon being the peak. We only played the main day on our Holi Festival tour and that was enough for us. It’s beautiful but intense.

Do I need a Guide for Holi?Holi Festival Tour-88

The festival is simply held in the streets in most cities through India, and you can get involved with the colors just by walking down the street. However, if you want to go into the parts of the city where crowds of people are playing with the colors you will want a guide.

We toured with Viator on their annual tour of Holi. I would definitely recommend hiring a guide for the Holi Festival. The action gets quite boisterous and I’m glad we had a guide. There is no way we could have made our way to the temple without someone who knew their way around. D

uring Holi, the foreign visitors are given special attention and all the locals want to cover them in colors. Our guides made sure we were safe and kept the crowds from over coloring us.

Should I take a Holi Festival Tour?

Holi Festival Tour-5

Yes. Everyone should experience it once in their life. The Holi Festival tour was a highlight of our time in India. Definitely, go with a guided Holi festival Tour. You’ll have more fun with someone who knows the area and the traditions, and how to speak Hindi! Going with a guide we learned a lot about the significance of the Holi Festival and the traditions.

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Ticking the Bucketlist

Friday 10th of April 2015

Now that's a difficult question! We are basically from North India... Punjab. I have done my schooling in Pune in the Western part...Also called Oxford of the East. My graduation is from the Eastern part...and we are currently working in Mumbai! That's a life around the country!

Give us a shout the next time you are planning the trip to India.... We can give you ideas that are closer to the roots and culture and are less touristy! :-)

Ticking the Bucketlist

Thursday 9th of April 2015

Born and brought up India, we have celebrated Holi for the last 30 years at least....Don't remember when I was a toddler ;-) A tour isn't the greatest way to enjoy the festival...neither is walking down the street and joining the reverlry. It surely isn't the safest option. There is stuff that goes on a day before holi...a bon fire that is burnt in the evening...typically sweets that are made in the house . If you are a couchsurfer, it would be best to do so. Else, explore airbnb or B&B options to be with a family. ..that will let you enjoy the festival be being a part of it...not by being a tourist!


Thursday 9th of April 2015

What part of idea are you from? It would be great to stay with a local family during the festival. Might try that out if we make it back there during the festival.


Tuesday 24th of March 2015

I definitely want to participate in Holi when I am in India next year and thinkthat getting a guide would be a great idea


Thursday 9th of April 2015

It would be a much more enjoyable time with a guide.


Tuesday 24th of March 2015

Wow! Such a cool experience!! I have an Indian friend and she said that one of the things she missed the most was not being able to experience Holi this year, after I read this now I can understand!


Wednesday 25th of March 2015

It is a crazy fun festival, does your friend go back to India for the festival?