Holi is a time to let go and enjoy literally coloring everyone around you. If you grew up with the South Asian tradition of Holi, you look forward to the celebration along with the arrival of spring. The surroundings become one big coloring book for a certain amount of time with all the noise from life taking a back seat. In its immense fun, Holi represents for many the letting go of grudges, starting anew and celebrating a fresh start. I have enjoyed Holi in many seasons of my life and today I am sharing tips for celebrating Holi with kids.
I have lovely childhood memories of playing with colors in Holi and spending time with my family talking about the meaning of Holi traditions. The stories were often shared by my parents or through movies they picked from the ample VHS collection at our local Indian store. I also remember the good old VHS for Navrang which has one of the best classic choreographed Holi songs. In the last decade, Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor’s characters dancing to “Balam Pichkari” in “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” is a fun modern take on it!
Now as a mother, I love passing on the stories and traditions of Holi to my children. They will have a much more global perspective on it than I ever did. Holi is becoming increasingly embraced across the globe for its representation of joy, energy, and new beginnings. There are color runs and music festivals all promising an immersive experience where no one leaves uncolored. With social media, that global impact is easy to witness. My kids have attended Holi every year in the U.S. as we are fortunate to have community organizers plan this event every year. They have grown up knowing their friends, aunts, and uncles will be there ready to play.
Holi with kids is playing with colors, enjoying yourself and then wondering about the aftermath in the car and the house!!
Here is a small checklist if you’ll be playing Holi with kids this year based on my experience:
1. Sunglasses for kids
3. LOTS of towels to line the car seats for everyone
4. Baby wipes for the face and hands
5. Water bottles for quick cleanup in case you are not near a fountain
6. Wearing white clothing you don’t mind getting discolored
Where do the colors come from? In the past, natural plant-based colors had been used. As color demand has increased, often the origin of the color is not clear on the packaging and can be chemical dye and metal based. I suggest keep the faces of your children protected especially the eyes, nostrils, and mouth. Skin irritation can also occur, though we have not noticed that in the past years.
At the end of the celebration, it’s difficult to explain the happiness of seeing reds, yellows, greens, blues, pinks, purples on everyone around me in the sunlight. It is a beautifully uplifting way to welcome springtime and energize for the rest of the year! I wish you a lovely Holi with kids this year and always.
The photos in this post are provided by the author.