The Perfect Holi Celebration


The best part about studying abroad in India during the spring semester should be pretty obvious: you’re there for the festival of Holi!

Holi used to have a lot a religious meaning, but now it’s mostly a day to celebrate the start of spring. Entire communities go crazy attacking each other with colorful powder - and maybe some eggs if you’re hardcore! I put a lot of pressure on myself to have the most perfect Holi experience, and I’m sure all spring students have the same panic attack of where to go and who to celebrate with. So here is a list of options students studying in India have for making this holiday one to remember!

  1. Celebrate through the Alliance!

Our Assistant Director set up a Holi celebration at a nearby primary school where all the powder was provided – and, most important, organic! Almost everyone in our program did this option and had a blast. They originally thought they’d have to go easy on the kids, but apparently it was the kids that should have been going easy on them. Showing up in all white kurtas, within minutes they were covered head to toe in every color of the rainbow.

  1. Hit up some of your local friends!

A few people with local friends spent Holi morning getting attacked at a nearby hostel. And if you thought the cute little kids were too crazy for us, apparently this was like an all-out war. Not an inch of skin was left uncovered by powder. This is a great choice if you’d prefer to hang out with people your own age and really have no desire to stay clean...Protip: Come armed with water guns!

  1. Go to a giant Holi party!

This is the option I chose, and I can’t even describe how insane it was. A few of us stayed in Mumbai following a multi-day field visit we had there and got tickets to a festival called “Holi Reloaded.” Tickets are not cheap for most events, so if you’re on a budget, the free options are probably a better idea, but I promise you it was worth every rupee! Imagine a crazy EDM festival, now add a ton of colors, a rain dance section for the audience, and hundreds of energetic Indians who actually know how to dance – and you’ve got my day. Though I wasn’t nearly as colorful as my friends back in Pune because of the constant shower we were under the whole time, my Holi was still just as messy as it needed to be. I highly recommend this option for those who don’t just want to have color thrown at them all day, but also want to dance in it! And if you’re in a city like Mumbai for the holiday, the celebrations continue all night. Though I can only speak for the particular festival I attended, parties like this are held all over, so whether you’re in Delhi or Cochin, there’s bound to be something for you.

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