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Festival Of Colours: What Is Holi And How Can Tourists Participate?

If you find yourself in India, Nepal, or a country with a big Indian population towards the end of March, you’ll have the chance to celebrate Holi in the most authentic way possible. If you plan to do this, you’ll need to know a little about the holiday. 

As a tourist, you might also be wondering what to write on a Holi card. We’ll go through this later on in the article. Generally, Holi is one of the happiest events in the Indian holiday calendar, and being part of a Holi celebration is sure to raise your mood. 

While it’s not a festival many foreigners know a lot about, Holi is one of the biggest in the world. In this article, we’ll briefly talk about what it is and how you, as a tourist to a Holi-celebrating country, can celebrate like a local, and make memories that last a lifetime. 

What is Holi?

Holi is one of the most important festivals in Indian culture. It will take place on March 25 in 2024 and typically lasts about two days. Holi has a rich and varied history: since it’s such an ancient celebration, its origins vary by region, but most legends involve some sort of triumph of good over evil. 

Because Holi celebrates the end of winter and the coming of spring, it is one of the most colourful celebrations in the world. It involves sharing food, making music, dancing, etc. One of the trademarks of any Holi celebration is people throwing paint and coloured powder on each other to celebrate the spring. 

When you write Holi cards, you’ll want to keep your tone light and happy. Make plenty of references to joy, laughter and prosperity. If you’re the kind to decorate your cards yourself, you’ll want to use bright, vibrant colours. 

Holi powders

Learn About the Festival Before Joining the Celebrations

Before you join a Holi celebration (or any traditional celebration, for that matter), you’ll want to learn as much as you can about it. Besides being a sign of respect for those whose culture you’re partaking in, being knowledgeable about the celebration you’re getting involved in also ensures that you get the most out of it. 

There are plenty of resources out there that you can take advantage of if you want to learn more about Holi. A brief internet search will give you loads of helpful results. If possible, you’ll want to read resources written by people who come from cultures where Holi is celebrated, as they’ll be more likely to have experienced it firsthand. If you have friends of Indian descent, you can also ask them to teach you more about Holi. 

Respect Others and Take Care of Yourself

If you plan to celebrate Holi as a tourist, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to maintain an attitude of respect towards the culture you’re celebrating. Avoid coarse jokes and generalisations. Don’t vandalise, and don’t cause damage to other people’s property. 

As a tourist in India, or anywhere else, you’ll want to keep yourself safe. Make sure someone you trust knows where you are at all times, and keep an eye on your valuables. You’ll also want to make sure not to get into any accidents during the Holi festivities themselves, as celebrations can get pretty wild. Also, don’t forget to pack some essential travel essentials

Hands holding color powder

Find Friends to Celebrate With

It’s not very fun to celebrate Holi on your own. If you can, you’ll want to travel with some of your friends. If all of you are complete foreigners to the country you’re visiting, you can use the trip as an opportunity to bond by learning about and experiencing a new culture together. If some of your friends come from an Indian background, you’ll be able to learn a lot about the festival by travelling with them. 

If you’re travelling on your own, you have a great opportunity to make friends in the country you’re visiting. You can do this the old-fashioned way, by talking to strangers in places like cafes, bookstores, shopping malls, etc. If you’re staying at a hostel or a hotel, there might be events in which to meet people. If none of these work out, there are also online communities where you can make new friends. 

Final Thoughts

Visiting India or another country in which Holi is celebrated as a tourist is a fantastic opportunity to learn about a new culture. Holi is one of the most vibrant festivals in the world, and partaking in it in an authentic way can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, if you do it right. You’ll want to learn as much as you can about it in order to better respect the culture and enjoy yourself, and celebrate with a group, if you can. 

What are you waiting for? If you’ve already booked your flight, there’s no time like now to start learning about Holi and getting ready to celebrate it. 

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