best holi celebrations

Join the colored masses in Jaipur. (Photo: Getty Images)

Culture + Style

In Living Color: Where in the World to Celebrate Holi

Holi, India’s vibrant festival of color, celebrates the victory of good over evil and heralds the arrival of spring. As they celebrate this happy Hindu festival, people smear brightly colored powder on each other, play with water guns and balloons, dance all morning and indulge in delicious traditional snacks.

In recent times, the revelry has extended well beyond India’s boundaries. The Indian diaspora is scattered around the world, and consequently, several countries are embracing the festival with fun-filled Holi parties and ceremonies.

The festival generally falls between February and March, depending on the Hindu calendar. Here’s where you can celebrate a colorful Holi around the world.

Delhi, India

best holi celebrations
Whoop it up in Delhi. (Photo: Getty Images)

Holi celebrations in North India are exuberant, boisterous affairs, and the capital city really amps up the festivities for the occasion. Locals in Delhi celebrate in a big way with friends and family.

There’s a party on every street corner, where colored powders are thrown about with abandon and people are drenched to the bone, dancing and snacking on traditional food. Ticketed events, such as the annual Holi MOO! Festival, are a great bet for travelers looking to participate.

In keeping with the city’s larger-than-life spirit, these all-day parties pull out all the stops with DJ performances, colors, food, drinks and packed dance floors.

Jaipur, India

For an equally fun but more traditional celebration, head to the Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan. In these parts, Holi is commonly known as the Dhulandi Festival. On the eve of Holi, a traditional bonfire is lit and prayers are said.

The following day sees vibrant celebrations organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Board, geared especially toward foreign travelers. There are Rajasthani folk music and dance performances, traditional gujiya (sweet dumplings) and plenty of colors to play with.


best holi celebrations
A blazing good time in Singapore. (Photo: Getty Images)

With its year-round warm climes and large Indian community, Singapore has widespread, vibrant Holi celebrations. Events are held at several parks and open spaces around the island-city, but Sentosa Island remains a top choice for Holi parties.

Events such as Rang de Holi are buzzing, multicultural affairs. Participants of all ages and nationalities gather on the beachfront to play with colors, snack on Indian goodies, dance to Bhangra and Bollywood beats, and watch traditional Indian music and dance performances.


Home to a huge Indian community, Canada has large-scale celebrations for major Indian festivals. Holi is no exception, and even the freezing February and March temperatures don’t stop the desi community from celebrating with zeal.

Holi events take place throughout Canada, but Toronto’s celebration is especially lively, with ticketed indoor events that are ideal for those who want to stay warm. There’s dry organic color, plenty of food and drink, and Bollywood beats to get everyone in the celebratory mood.

For those who want to brave the cold and celebrate outdoors in true Indian style, Woodbine Beach is the place to go.


best holi celebrations
Get your color fix in London. (Photo: Getty Images)

The festival of color brightens up London’s gray skies at the city’s many Holi events. Celebrations aren’t just limited to the Indian community; it’s one big party across the city with DJ sets, packed dance floors and color-drenched revelers at popular events like the Holi Festival of Colours.

For a traditional flavor, Hindu temples, such as the grand Swaminarayan Temple, are popular with the city’s Indian community. Rituals involve the lighting of the Holi bonfire, followed by a prayer ceremony and Holi-special Indian snacks.


Holi in Houston has grown to be an eagerly awaited affair, celebrated widely by the Indian diaspora and other nationalities. Houston has a large Indian population, and its celebrations see plenty of folk dances and Indian-style street food at events such as Houston Holi.

The hugely popular event has live music performances throughout the day, DJ sets, kids games and rides, and of course, plenty of color all around.