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 on a Holi Festival tour from Delhi and celebrating 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.
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.
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
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?
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. During 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?
Yes. Everyone should experience it one 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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