Every year, at the beginning of Spring in India, is the Holi Festival – A.K.A. an all-out paint war!

I arrived in India during the middle of the week-long celebration and I was delighted to be able to experience this once-in-a-lifetime festival.

Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, has a long tradition which lies deeply in the Hinduism (a religion that was born in India). During the festival, all 1.25 billion Indian people play outside and splash each other with neon bright paint colors.  Every region of the country celebrates Holi.

holi-3
photo via “faceme” on flickr

I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.  People chasing each other in the streets, fields, temples and buildings, armed with packets of dry powdered paint and splattering random people from head to toe in colors. It’s a free-for-all.  It’s madness.  And it’s really freaking fun!

The occurrence of Holi varies every year depending on the Hindu calendar, but it always happens at the end of Spring to signify good over evil, the end of winter and the arrival of spring.   It’s a time for people to play with their friends, laugh, meet others and forgets about any of their worries.

holi-drew

Anyone and everyone is fair game in Holi, including your mother, your mailman and the strange folks on the street. Some people get so into it that they carry water guns spiked with paint or colored water-filled balloons and drench their friends and enemies.

In addition to the paint war, people gather to march on the streets while playing drums and singing traditional songs.

It’s almost like a festival + parade + concert + paint war at the same time.

The best part about Holi is the fact that everyone has a smile on their face, whether they are enjoying the company of their friends or chasing foes around the street. I’ve never seen any event that was this happy on such a big scale.  It’s amazing.

But if you think Holi is already crazy, then just wait until you hear the next thing that I’m about to tell you…

Holi is by NO means a sober event.

Everyone gets intoxicated and high. (Yes, people get high in India).

Aside from smoking weed, Indian people enjoy taking this stuff called Bhang, which is regularly consumed by many during Holi. Bhang is a paste made up of cannabis leaves and mixed into drinks and sweets. Basically, it’s the same thing as eating an marijuana edible with THC and it gets your really, really, stoned for hours and hours.

holi-bhang

So now, imagine this crazy all-out paint war and picture everyone stoned out of their minds. Sound crazy, doesn’t it?

Who knew that this kind of thing existed in India? I surely had no idea about it until I visited India for myself. Which is why traveling is just awesome.

My Experience During Holi:

I arrived in India the day after Holi began. Although the first day of Holi is known as the craziest, I still found myself in the thick of the war.

Different regions of India celebrate Holi differently, and the duration of the holiday depends on where you are. I happened to be in Goa, where they celebrate the festival for one week straight!

On my 2nd day in India, I was riding my motorbike along the beach and exploring new areas. In the distance, I came across a big field with people throwing paint all over each other. Even though I wasn’t dressed appropriately, I parked my bike and ran into the field all by myself.

It took me about .15 seconds to make local Indian friends after I was immediately slapped in the face with paint.  I stood out like a sore thumb.  Exactly like what you see in this photo.

holi-1

Due to the heavy amounts of paint, I didn’t get any quality photos of the Holi madness that I was in, but I am sure that you can imagine what it is like.

All in all, Holi festival was an unforgettable experience and it was also a pleasant welcoming into India.

If you are planning a trip to India in the Spring, then you MUST plan it accordingly to experience Holi!

Have you ever been? What was your Holi experience? 

Drew Binsky

A graduate from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Drew Binsky has visited 190+ Countries since 2012.He first caught the travel bug while studying abroad in Prague, then taught English in Korea, and now he's on a mission to visit every country on earth.Follow his journey on YouTube & Instagram @drewbinsky 🙂

Latest posts by Drew Binsky (see all)

42 thoughts on “Insane Experience at Holi Festival in India

  1. Celebrated throughout the globe with utmost exuberance, spirit, and love, Holi is the festival of color. Tracing its origins back from Hindu Mythology, Holi is celebrated by people all around the world with the spirit of cheerfulness and happiness. Celebrate this holi with brand new, classic and colorful t-shirts to match with the essence of the color festival.
    Start your holi morning with the classic, festive white t-shirts and give it your own custom touch with holi colors and save it in your wardrobe or carry it later to start a new trend. Check out on: Bewakoof.com

  2. I am happy to read about your pleasant experience of Holi in India.
    I wish you may experience other Indian festivals too.
    Holi is one of the famous festivals in India. The fun part of Holi is enjoyment with friend and family.
    hope you might be interested in Holi Story and How India Celebrates Holi- You can visit my site https://wishholi.com/

  3. Holi is lovely festival I love it…. with my wife. I have lovely kids , my kids also like Holi they are playing with colours balloons and so on you are also like tell me. if you want to give some gift for your kids try this

    https://amzn.to/2UW0HOS

  4. I read your blog post and it was amazing they are full of information on Holi Celebrations in India. Holi is not complete without vibrant Gulal, Colours, Dhol, DJ and Unlimited Fun.

  5. Hey Drew, so glad to read that you enjoyed your first holi experience. it is truly the most celebrated festival in India. thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  6. Hey, I love reading your artical. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Read more bout holi – theera.xyz/the-survival-guide-to-holi-festival/

  7. Hey Drew, glad to know you liked the festival of Holi. But, did you forget to mention the delicacies that are made on this festival? I mean have you not tried gujiya and dahi bhalle ??????

  8. India is a unique confluence of festivals, where you are endowed with many types of festivals. One of those festival festival is Holi. I am proud to be on my own if I am an Indian.

  9. This blog was so impressive I have got all my require information to visit the places to India. The tourist destination you mention in your blog was so good. I have get the knowledge about various parts of India.
    The historical places and national parks you mentioned was so beautiful. The pictures was also appreciable.
    Holi is full of colors and joy as you mentioned.

  10. India is indeed famous for its versatility. In this situation, festivals are the lifeline of Indians. Along with major festivals like Diwali, Rakhi, Holi, there are many other local festivals too visiting which will give you a whole new experience. Some examples are gangaur and teej in Rajasthaan, Lohri in Punjab, Onam in Kerala, etc.

  11. I loved the artice including the pictures, ofcourse. Holi is really an amazing festival and if it makes you fall in love with our country then what more we can say! Happy Holi 2019 mate 🙂 We are hoping that you are still enhjoying this amazing festival 🙂 and if yes! then congratulations.

  12. Yeah holi is one of the best festivals celebrated in India but, man you will regret if i tell you about other awesome festivals celebrated here they are also that crazy. Being a Indian I am happy that I can enjoy these festivals every year. But overall a beautiful blog and the drink you mentioned is consumed only once on this day of holi

  13. You should visit mumbai during ganesh festival,mysore during dussehra and during diwali. India will be shining brightly at that time and you will have lots of fun and memories to remember.

  14. India is indeed famous for its versatility. In this situation, festivals are the lifeline of Indians. Along with major festivals like Diwali, Rakhi, Holi, there are many other local festivals too visiting which will give you a whole new experience. Some examples are gangaur and teej in Rajasthaan, Lohri in Punjab, Onam in Kerala, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *