Holi Hai is one of the world’s most colourful festivals! Known as the festival of colours, this festival involves people throwing coloured water and powder all over each other in the streets. It’s a magical time filled with good vibes, drumming and dancing, and people parading through the streets.
This festival is mainly celebrated in Northern India in cities such as Delhi. However, if you are down South you can still find some places that celebrate this festival, like in beautiful Hampi. If you are in India during March you want to make sure not to miss out on the party.
With the fun and the colour comes a messy, messy day. Here are my tips on how to prepare for the festival of colours so that you have a perfectly fun-filled day!
Purchase Coloured Powder & Keep Empty Water Bottles
The day before the festival I purchased a couple of packets of coloured powder. You can find these packets of colour very easily if you are in a city that is celebrating Holi.
I also made sure to not throw away my empty water bottles leading up to the event. The morning of Holi I filled two water bottles with water and added my coloured powder to them. This way I was ready for Holi Hai the second I walked out of my door – which you need to be!
The second that I stepped outside, little kids tried to steal my coloured water bottles. Just hold tight and chase them away by spraying them.
On the day of Holi there will be lots of coloured powder for sale so don’t worry about stocking up before. You also don’t necessarily need water – you can just throw the powder at people. Anything goes at Holi Hai!
Even thought this is the festival of “colour” – it is important to start with a blank canvas. While you can wear anything that you want, white is the best option.
I bought a cheap white t-shirt with the Lord Shiva on it from a local market. After the festival, I was left with a cool tie-dyed t-shirt with the Lord Shiva. It makes for a special and memorable souvenir. Another option is to just wear something in your bag that you are ready to throw away.
Consider your Footwear
Just like your clothes, your shoes are going to get destroyed. See if you have any rubber shoes you can wear so that the colour will wash away easily. If not go for black shoes or old shoes that you don’t care about ruining.
Bring a waterproof Camera
There is no doubt that you will want to capture this amazing festival! However, be ready for anything that you take out with you to get destroyed. A good option is a go-pro in its waterproof case with a handle/wrist band to hold onto (or something similar).
Keep Everything at Home
I left all of my money and belongings at my guest house because even the locals warned me not to bring anything out. This may be hard to do if you are staying far away from the festivities but be warned: everything taken out is fair game to be splashed with colour.
If you do need to bring money out – which you should because you will definitely need to buy water – then put it in a zip-lock bag. A friend of mine had money in her wallet and when she got splashed with colour, the colour seeped through and onto a 500 rupee note in her pocket. Now nowhere will accept that note because there is colour on it. So…don’t bring any big bills with you either.
Have Some Coconut oil and a scrubber Ready
I was lucky enough to have coconut oil packed in my bag during the Holi Hai festival. After the festivities were over I rubbed coconut oil all over my body and massaged it into my skin to help it break down the colour. Coconut oil is a natural makeup remover, but if you have makeup remover it would probably work even better.
Once I was all greased up, I jumped into the shower and used soap and a scrubber (actually made for washing dishes, not humans) and scruba-dub-dubbed! This got the majority of the paint off – the rest will come with time.
Take a Nap
This festival start early in the morning at around 8 a.m. and goes until about noon. It can go later depending how much dancing you want to do. Even though it doesn’t seem like very long now it will once you spend all morning running around in the hot sun. I was in Hampi for the festival and it was so ridiculously hot! Make sure that you have planned some time in your day to take a nap, cool down, and recover. Also make sure to drink lots of water.
After a rest you will be able to do more things with your day – if you’re not completely exhausted.