Holi, the traditional Hindu Festival of Colours, historically marks the arrival of spring and has evolved as a celebration of love, fertility, friendship, and youth. It’s an opportunity for people to get together with friends and loved ones for some good old-fashioned fun.
Central to the celebration is an afternoon devoted to playing with water, covering each other in coloured powders known as gulal, and indulging in sweet treats – a day that children (and adults) look forward to all year.
This year’s Holi festivities have only just come and gone. If you recently saw the fun and colourful photos flittering through your social media feeds and are feeling a little inspired, there are other destinations to consider for the festivities next year. Here’s where to go and how to have a roaring good time:
Go all out celebrating Holi in Goa, India
India and Nepal are great destinations to get a true taste of this beloved festival. Head to Goa, the party capital of India, for a celebration that’s more on the wild side. Be prepared to be doused in coloured water as part of the fun.
Stay at the Amore Manolita, a great space to share with friends. It includes a kitchenette, so you can even make your own organic eco-friendly colours the day before the celebration, using flowers and common ingredients available in local markets. Also remember to watch out for the water balloons that cheeky neighbourhood children are sure to throw.
Visit Pokhara, Nepal for a different take on Holi celebrations
Pokhara, Nepal, too, comes alive during Holi. Celebrations kick off the day before with bonfires that symbolise the triumph of good over evil. On the day you plan to play with colours, consider the simple hack of moisturising your skin and applying a coat of nail polish to your nails before the fun and games begin. This way, you can wash the colours off with no fuss. To cap it off, stay at the Fishtail Lodge or The Pavilions Himalayas for incredible views.
Head to the US for the largest festivals combining colour and music
One of the best things about Holi is that everyone is invited to join in the fun, regardless of age and faith. This has helped the celebration spread across the globe and evolve in unique ways. In the Los Angeles, California, there’s an annual Festival of Colors every March, their take on the sacred Hindu festival.
The event features dance, music, yoga, and – you guessed it – lots and lots of colour! Stay at the Bissell House Bed & Breakfast in Pasadena that’s just a short ride away from the festival venue.
Get your fill of island life with Holi in Mauritius
If island getaways are your thing, then Holi in Mauritius might just be the way to go. In Mauritius, Holi is celebrated by nearly everyone. Anyone out in an open area is fair game, so consider yourself warned.
Treat yourself with a stay at the LUX* Belle Mare, where you can relax after your day out playing in Holi fun. If you’re into water sports, this property also offers a plethora of options to choose from, ranging from boating and canoeing to snorkelling.
Savour a taste of the neon-hued celebration at House of HOLI, United Kingdom
For something more on the intimate side, head over to London for Cinnamon Kitchen’s take on Holi, which involves a mix of two delectable ingredients – food and play. After all, no festival is complete without a feast. Enjoy 30 minutes of paint-pelting with family and friends, and after the paint dries, feast on a five-course Holi menu. Finally, check in to the Devonshire Club & Hotel located a mere two-minute walk away.
Get caught in a vibrant crossfire at Dubai’s hottest fluorescent beach party
Dubai, United Arab Emirates certainly knows how to crank up the heat when it comes to organising some of the best Holi gatherings. Escape to JA Beach Resort for a foot-stomping sunrise to sunset Holi beach party featuring vibrant colours, a spectacular music line-up by local DJ’s, delicious food, and more. Don your best whites and watch as the beach transforms into a multi-coloured sea once the colour battle ensues.
Move to the beat at Berlin’s electrifying dance party
Berlin, Germany takes on a more electro approach when it comes to celebrating Holi. Experience the chaotic colour spectrum alongside party-goers from all backgrounds in a vibrant affair that combines the tossing of gulal with electrifying performances from House and EDM DJs.
Berlin’s Holi festival kicks off 24 August, so if you missed the boat on the March celebrations, you’ll still be able to catch this one! The Mercure Airport Hotel Berlin Tegel provides the most convenient access point to and from the festival.