Holi Celebrations: Your essential guide to the Festival of Colour

Indians around the world will be celebrating on 25 March – find out where in Cardiff you can join in

Some of the largest Holi celebrations take place in Mathura and Vrindavan in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, lasting up to 16 days

Holi, the Hindu festival best known for its vibrant colour throwing, returns at the end of March, but how exactly does India celebrate one of its most revered festivals?

Holi has been celebrated since the 4th century CE and, for many, signals the beginning of spring and a symbolic triumph of good over evil. In Hinduism, the festival is based on the story of Hiranyakashipu, a tyrant king who was defeated by his son and daughter, Prahlad and Holika. 

It’s an important time for families and communities to come together and celebrate, but the festival is taking on greater importance for the millions of Indians who live and work abroad, including those in Cardiff.

In an interview with Time magazine, Minal Jaswal, who runs a Holi event for the South Asian community in London, said “We want the future generation to be connected to the culture back home. Celebrating as a community helps parents show their children what this festival stands for.”

How is Holi celebrated?

Holi takes place over two days, starting before purnima, – a full moon in Sanskrit. On the first day, Holika Dahan, bonfires are lit to cleanse bad spirits and many people offer wheat sheaves, coconut, or green chickpeas as a token of gratitude for the spring harvest.

The second day, Rangvali Holi, is much more well-known because of its iconic colour throwing. This takes inspiration from a Hindu legend that explains why the god Krishnu is always depicted with blue skin, which turned blue as a baby when he drank poisonous milk from a demon.

His lover, Radha, applied colour to her own skin as a show of love, which is the main event of the second day of celebration.

Where can I celebrate Holi in Cardiff?

While events will be taking place across India, Cardiff certainly won’t be missing out. Here’s where you can still find tickets for some of the biggest Holi events:

Desi Nach Indoor Holi Festival – 24.3.24

Vale Sports Arena will be hosting 1,500 revellers with music across India, including Bollywood and Bhangra classics. Tickets are from £5-£8 and you even get 100g of Holi power included.

Tickets are available at: https://www.fatsoma.com/e/425ev9ob/desi-nach-cardiff-indoor-holi-festival-24-03-2024

Cardiff Holi Festival: Colours Inside the Club – 21.3.24

District on Greyfriars Street is welcoming Cardiff’s student population to its Holi celebration, with early bird tickets costing just £6, but you can also get group tickets if you decide this will be your mates’ first Holi as well. 

Tickets are available at: https://www.fatsoma.com/e/4ig2wisj/cardiff-holi-festival-2024-colours-inside-the-club