9 Ways To Culturally Celebrate Holi This Year (the South Asian Way)!

9 Ways To Celebrate Holi This Year (the South Asian Way)!

The colors, the water-fight, the food, the drinks and the joy! Who wouldn’t want to celebrate Holi? Kids will LOVE this festival because it's a parent-approved way to get messy, and watch your parents get messy too! People from all cultures can celebrate this holiday -- it's just like “The Color Run," which is based off of this South Asian/Indian Holiday. 

How can we celebrate this festival outside of India, no matter where we are from? See below for ideas on how to make the whole day fun and meaningful for your children (and you)!

A few tips to note:

When to play Holi: Holi this year is Friday March 18th, 2022. On the day of Holi, make sure to start playing when the sun is out -- so it is warm enough to play with water too! 

Where to play Holi: Try to play on an easy-to-clean surface like concrete. This way the color won’t harm your plants or grass

You can also get our FREE Holi Coloring Page & Vocabulary Sheet HERE.


1. Find some old, white clothes!

holi kid

Traditionally, people wear old, white clothes to help the Holi color (gulal) pop!

FUN TIP: Take some “before & after” pictures! Show off your pristine white outfit before playing Holi, and then take “after” pictures showing just how messy and colorful you got. 


2. Get some colored Holi powder (gulal) and play!

holi, gulal, holi color, holi powder

You can, of course, play Holi without the powder colors, called “gulal” in Hindi. But let’s be honest – the colors are what makes the holiday fun and colorful! No gulal? -- You can use flowers, confetti or just water (see #4).

BUY Color: from these wonderful small businesses that sell non-toxic, safe, gulal:

Kulture Khazana

Pink Burfi

Captain Colors

    You can also find color at your local Indian store!


     3. Blast some Bollywood Music! 

    Do not forget the music! Bollywood has loads and loads of Holi themed songs. Play the music on loud and have an impromptu dance party:).

    SAAVN and SPOTIFY both have a great playlists:

    SAAVN Holi Playlist


    Spotify Holi Playlist


      4. Make Thandai – a Holi drink!

      Thandai is a cultural Indian drink that tastes like eggnog. It’s creamy, nutty and cold and delicious. Here is an easy recipe for you to follow from


      5. Buckets of water & water guns (pichkari)

      Weather-permitting, grab a bucket of water and some water guns to make the day a little more splashy. Traditionally, Holi is celebrated with lots of water play!

      6. Arts & Crafts & Coloring

      If you need a moment of calm, sit your kids down to do some Holi doing arts and crafts. Here are two fun activities your child can do:

      Holi Vocab Sheet & Coloring Page:

      Holi Coloring Sheet, Holi Vocabulary

      Make a colorful Holi coaster:


        7. Read books about Holi

        The Festival of Colors, book

        Understand a little about how and why Holi is played with the books below. 

        The Festival of Colors 

        Celebrate Holi With Me

        Let’s Celebrate Holi!


        8. Eat Indian food & dessert

        gujiya, sweets for Holi, how to celebrate Holi

        Enjoy your favorite Indian dishes this day, whether it's plain daal and sabzi, chola bhatura, chaat -- whatever you like. That being said, make sure to have a sampling of Indian sweets too. Popular Holi sweets (mithai) include laddoos, gujiya, and gulab jamun.


        9. Do a bonfire!

        A cozy way to extend the Holi party into the night, is to do a bonfire!

        Often, South Asians do a small bonfire the night before Holi (called choti Holi), but with our busy schedules and school nights to think of, try out the bonfire the actual day of Holi. This way kids will have a whole day of Holi to enjoy!