Holi is definitely one of the most awaited festivals in India. Celebrated every year in March, Holi is a wild festival of colors. Contrary to how Varanasi is usually described, the oldest and the holiest city of India turns into a wild teenager during this time of the year and welcomes people from different corners of the world to be part of something so extraordinarily chaotic yet beautiful.
Undeniably one of the best places to celebrate Holi in India, this should be on every traveler’s bucket list and we are not exaggerating when we say this but this is surely an experience not to be missed out on.
On Holi, Varanasi looks playful, bathed in all kinds of colors. Small groups of boys wander along the ghats, covered in vibrant hues of pink, blue and yellow. Some wearing funny hats while others have their faces painted in every color you could possibly imagine. Some chase their friends down the street, sprinkling bright colors on anyone and everyone they meet on the way!
Every year lots of Indians and foreigners head to Varanasi to be part of this beautifully chaotic colorful fanfare. You could find yourself at the steps of Ganges ghat, throwing colors and eating some of the choicest sweets and savories.
How the celebrations begin
The celebration in Varanasi starts on Holika Dahan (9 March 2020), when a great bonfire is lit in the evening to celebrate the victory of good over evil, just like in most parts of the country. People also throw ‘uptan’ into the fire, which is a type of paste. This is believed to keep people disease-free for the rest of the year. The Holika ash is later used to mark a tilak on the forehead of all attendees, and then of course prepare for grand celebrations the next day.
This new year, Holi will be celebrated on 9 and 10 March 2020.
The next morning people gather around the Ganges to play with colors, drink thandai infused with homegrown bhaang and dance like no one is watching. There is color all around – in the air, splashed on cows, dogs and even cats; in the Ganga and wherever your eyes can travel.
The holy Ganga will amaze you with its beauty. She is basically the star attraction of this party. She cleans anyone and everyone and also washes down the remains of this party in a swirl of ruby, emerald and sapphire.
So ditch your usual holi plans and play holi with a bunch of foreigners and chug down that huge tumbler of bhaang like there is no tomorrow! Totally Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani feels. Book your Varanasi cab now.
Do not miss the evening aarti on both days.