The colorful festival of Holi marks the victory of good over evil, it celebrates the burning and annihilation of the demoness Holika, which was made possible by the Hindu God, Lord Vishnu. Holi also marks the beginning of spring, and it’s a thanksgiving holiday where people offer up prayers and are grateful for the bountiful harvest. Whether you think about what to wear for Holi or where you want to celebrate this colorful festival, the result is always an exuberant amount of fun.
What is Holi?
Holi is celebrated after the first full moon of March, specifically the first day after the full moon. In 2020 the full moon will fall on March 10th, and Holika Dahan will be on March 9th. Some parts of India will start celebrating Holi a week earlier.
Along with marking the arrival of spring, the colorful festival of Holi also symbolizes color, love, fertility, and the triumph of good over evil. On the eve of Holi, many bonfires are lit to indicate the defeat of demoness Holika; some Hindus will also smear themselves with ash from the bonfire to signify purification.
Before you join in the festival of colors, you will have to take appropriate measures to protect your clothes, skin, and hair. This includes putting on a generous amount of oil on the body, wearing loose clothes, and having a shower immediately after the color play is done. Use lukewarm water to wash the skin and don’t rub it aggressively.
The festival is celebrated in most parts of the country, some celebrate it more extravagantly than others. The traditional Holi celebrations are greater in Mathura and Vrindavan, which are located four hours from Delhi; it’s believed that Lord Krishna grew up in these places. However, safety is a major concern for women in this area as the local men can get a bit rowdy, so it’s best to travel on a guided group tour.
Another popular Holi destination for tourists is Rajasthan, places like Pushkar, Jaipur, and Udaipur are great for solo backpackers because there are hostels that organize great Holi parties for their guests. Tourists can wear their favorite Holi clothes and enjoy good food and music while being covered in color.
Since Holi can be a popular time to visit India, the weeks that lead up to it will be super busy. The streets will be packed with vendors and customers, and the normal hustle and bustle of cities and towns will be more chaotic during this time. Therefore, it’s recommended that you plan your trip well if you want to have a smooth sailing holiday.
Also, the Holi celebration does not stop at color play. You will get to experience delicious food, parades, bonfires, dancing, and music. The whole celebration is magical and exhilarating. Even though Holi is celebrated all over India, and you may feel like visiting various spots to see the celebrations, it’s best that you stick to your itinerary and not deviate from it too much.
Important Holi dates to help you plan your travels:
Firstly, the main date when Holi is celebrated is based on the Hindu Lunar calendar and there is a slight difference every year. Usually, the festival falls in March and the religious rituals take place on the eve of the first full moon with celebrations taking place the day after. Since the festival goes on for two days, you should choose one city you want to celebrate in. Plan your trip and arrive before the celebrations take place, this will allow you some time to sightsee and explore the area.
Some of the essential Holi dates are:
- 2020: March 9-10
- 2021: March 27-28
- 2022: March 7-8
- 2023: March 6-7
How to prepare for a color fight?
If you’re arriving in India for the first time and have no idea how to prepare for Holi then fret not! Here are some guidelines you can follow before celebrating the festival of color:
Ask the hotel or hostel staff for advice on how to celebrate the Holi. This includes what to wear, which areas to visit or stay away from, and essential safety information
Look for natural fabrics like cotton when shopping for clothes
Purchase organic colored powder because they are eco-friendly, chemical-free, and won’t harm your skin.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, the weather in India can get insanely hot and if you’re not careful you will suffer from a heatstroke
Essential packing tips for Holi:
When you think about what to wear for Holi and the best outfit for the Holi party, it can be challenging to decide on the items that will survive the onslaught of colors and still live to tell the tale. Here’s a guide on some essential packing items you will have to pack when traveling to a new city to celebrate Holi:
Long sleeve shirt:
This is an ideal choice for Holi, long-sleeved shirts are great because they protect your skin from intense colors like red and pinks, and the sun as well; also, the loose fabric keeps you cool during the celebrations. Avoid synthetic fabrics and go for something natural like cotton. Mostly, people prefer wearing white on Holi because the colors are visible and it makes for great pictures as well. You have to remember that Holi celebrations include water wars, which can make your white clothes translucent.
Pair your long-sleeved loose shirt with loose pants, and this way you can protect more skin while staying cool.
This is an important clothing item and it can be used in many ways during Holi celebrations. You can wrap the scarf around your neck to protect your chest from the sun and colored powders. You can also use the scarf to cover your mouth and nose, especially when there is too much powder in the air and you don’t want to inhale any of it.
Hair Care is vital during Holi, the sun and colors can play havoc on your precious tresses. Hats or bandannas are perfect to protect your hair. Simply tuck in your tresses under the hat, or wrap them up turban style.
Do not wear any fancy shoes to your Holi celebration parties, go for flip-flops that can stand the wrath of color and water. You can even opt for old tennis shoes or sturdy sandals.
The colored powders and glaring sunlight can be quite harmful to your eyes, hence, you have to wear a pair of sunglasses that you wouldn’t mind discarding if they get ruined during the festivities.
The colored dyes are quite potent and they can seep into your nail beds. The stain can be pesky and take time to come off. So, it’s recommended that you apply two to three coats of nail polish, this will prevent your nails from getting stained.
A sturdy bag:
Holi celebrations can be quite chaotic, and petty theft is known to happen during these celebrations. So, it’s essential that you have a back that will protect all your valuables and it should be difficult for other people to access it as well. A crossbody bag, that you don’t mind getting ruined, or a fanny pack are great options and quite stylish as well.
Travelers will want to carry their phones and cameras with them, a smartphone that has a great camera will help them capture amazing images of all the Holi celebrations. When bringing your phone into a Holi fight, you have to be aware that the colored powders tend to ruin electronic gadgets. So, you can opt for a sealable bag with a waterproof case, this is a practical option that will allow you to use your phone without risking any damage.
Holi is celebrated during the initial days of Indian summer, during this time the weather is dry and the temperature can get hot as well. You have to choose proper Holi attire that is comfortable and lets your skin breathe. Only pack clothes and footwear that you are okay with discarding later.
Look your stylish best with these Holi festival outfit ideas:
Take the pastel route with Holi ethnic wear:
Pastels are a popular summer choice, and they are great festive trends as well. If you want to stand out during this Holi season then here are some stylish Holi festival outfit ideas that pair wear well with pastel shades:
The classic cotton kurta can never go wrong, can it? You can choose kurtas in soothing pastel shades. Not only will they keep you cool in the summer heat, but you can also remove the color quite easily after the color play; pair your favorite kurta with stretchable leggings and you will be good to go.
For all the Bollywood buffs, a chiffon or georgette saree is perfect for the Holi season. Go for monochromatic pastel shades or pretty floral prints that will make you feel like a diva. Wear a saree in shades like yellow or pastel pinks, along with a short-sleeved blouse. Avoid heavy accessories and keep it as simple as possible.
Twirl the day away in your favorite palazzo suits. These clothing pieces are comfortable and elegant. It’s great for women who love simplicity and don’t want to take the risque route. You can opt for floral prints in shades of lavender, peach, and baby blue for the perfect spring-summer aesthetic.
Are perfect garments to show off those dance moves! The pants are wide-legged and have many flares that provide an illusion of a flowy skirt. You can wear shararas in pastel shades like cream, powder pink, mint green and so on. Pair the sharara with super comfortable juttis, since you will be on your feet for most of the day.
These pants can make you look youthful while giving off the whole Boho chic vibe. Pick a pant that is made of cotton, so that its light on the skin and you feel comfortable when you play Holi. Pair a white dhoti pant with an ethnic crop top and keep the accessories simple.
Long skirt and Kurta
This ethnic Holi attire is quite popular because it looks elegant and feels comfortable. Pick shades like light blue and lilac, and take it to the next level with an embellished net dupatta.
If you feel that the Holi festival outfit is bland and could use an upgrade then add an ethnic jacket. This attention-grabbing detail is great for festive parties and quite trendy as well. You can choose from long, short, cotton, net, and silk jackets; it’s perfect for a fusion look as well. Pair a red jacket with pastel ethnic wear for that trendy look.
Sometimes a dress is the best way to go, especially if you’re not in the mood to wear multiple layers. You can choose a white ethnic dress that has minimal embellishments and pair them with comfortable slippers.
Style tips 2020- What to wear for Holi?
Since Holi is a major festival in India it’s natural to want to show off your new outfits, but it’s also a messy and chaotic time, so it’s best to keep your fancy garments at home and opt for clothes that are trendy and won’t mind getting messy. Here are some style tips for Holi 2020:
There may be many lehengas just catching dust in your closet. Now you can pair your favorite lehenga skirt with a casual top to give off that Indo-Western vibe that is relaxed and fun.
Tops and shorts
Many ethnic cotton tops can be paired with shorts. Choose tops that are of cotton and you wouldn’t mind getting dirty. Wear them with your favorite shorts and strut your stuff at the Holi party.
Go full Desi
If fusions and combinations are not your styles then go full desi with a Holi special salwar suit. Go for light cotton suits that can be paired well with accessories as well.
Splash some color on it
You can add some color to your outfit, besides the colored powders and water, by adding a vibrant dupatta. Mix, match, and have fun!
This look is quite the fan favorite! Inspired by Kareena Kapoor’s Geet from the movie “Jab We Met” the comfy casual look is pairing old Patiala pants with a baggy t-shirt. This look is fun and super cute, it guarantees a Happy Holi.
You can wear a casual lehenga at the Holi party and make heads turn with the classy attire. The lehenga makes for a great Holi festival outfit, you can create a unique look that suits your style. Ensure that the hemline is almost above the ankles or near the ankles, this way you will help you move gracefully without feeling like you will fall over the hemline.
It goes without saying that over the years the glitzy world of Bollywood has managed to provide us with many classic all-white outfits that look amazing when celebrating Holi. You can go for flared Kurtis or the evergreen kurta chudi set, which is easy to pull off. However, when you wear white the fabric can get see-through so opt for little thicker cotton versions that will help you avoid any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.
Shorts and tank top
Now this combination may stray from the classic Holi attire, but it’s a good option for the modern and casual woman. If you feel that a tank and shorts combo is too risky then you can pair the shorts with cotton shorts or the tank with white palazzos. In the end, wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident.
Now, you may think that jeans are impractical and they don’t allow much mobility once they are wet. However, jeans are great for Holi celebrations because they absorb color and protect your skin as well. You can pair your white kurta or cotton top with a pair of old dark blue jeans. The colored powder will help create beautiful dimensions to your denim pants and you can use them later with a solid colored top.
What not to wear during Holi parties:
As mentioned before, you must choose the right Holi outfits before heading out to celebrate this festival of colors. So, you will have to take in many factors before deciding on your outfit. If you wear the wrong items the results can be devastating and heartbreaking. To avoid such risks let’s have a look at what you shouldn’t wear to Holi celebrations:
Don’t stray away from the essentials:
Do not leave your skin exposed for too long because the colors, paired with the sun’s rays, will lead to skin damage. But, if you want to wear a sleeveless top or shorts then you have to take some precautionary measures to protect your skin. Massage coconut or almond oil all over the body, including your hair. When you do this, the skin will not come in direct contact with the colors and there will be few chances of after-effects; also, you will be able to quickly rinse all the color away without aggressively scrubbing at your skin. If your hair is light colored then ensure that you wear a hat or a bandana so that the color doesn’t stain your scalp or hair.
Follow the dress code:
The popular dress code for Holi is white, sure you can wear pastels as well, but white is the way to go. Also, the white Holi attire you choose should not be too fancy because as the day goes on you will receive loads of color on your clothes and this will ruin the material. Stick to cotton material and pair it with stretchy leggings or jeans.
Change into your favorite outfit AFTER the color wars:
Once the color wars are done, it’s time to dig into delicious food! You can change out of your Holi clothes and don something festive like an ethnic dress, saree, or lehenga.
Dress down for the color play, dress up for the parties:
Now, Holi celebrations don’t end with color play and they extend into a night of music, food, dance, and fun. You can go for ethnic frocks or dresses that have beautiful pastel prints on them or you can go for jeans and a classy cotton shirt for a comfortable chic look. Avoid going too heavy with your accessories and do not wear frumpy clothes that restrict movement. Avoid fabric that is heavy because it will cause you discomfort during the summer heat.
You can shop for amazing Holi ethnic wear online, visit the Inddus store and choose from hundreds of beautiful designs that are affordable, classy, and elegant. The Inddus Holi Sale ends soon. Your last chance to get your favourite Indian wthnic wear at discounts up to 75%. Hurry!