Holi for Newbies

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Colorful holi powders.Confession: Growing up, we didn’t celebrate many holidays.

It probably had to do with the fact that my parents are immigrants. They simply didn’t know how. For example, I don’t remember getting a Christmas tree until middle school after zealous advocacy.

But now that I’m a mom of three, I’m determined to overcompensate. This means intentionally learning about and exposing my littles to holidays, even ones from other cultures. Holi is no exception.

It is important to note that the holiday is rooted in the Hindu religion, but it is also a cultural holiday. This dichotomy is similar to the way Christmas can be religious, cultural, or both in the United States (and other countries in the world).

From a religious perspective, Holi is a celebration of love and symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, and there are a few stories about how the holiday began — stemming from legends about Hindu gods and their devotees.

>> RELATED READ :: 5 Holi Activities to Do with Your Kids <<

I personally love how Holi, the Indian festival of colors, culturally celebrates the transition from winter to spring — when new colors appear in nature — and new beginnings.

The date of the holiday changes every year because it is based on the last full moon of the Hindu calendar.

If you want to explore Holi with your family, here are a few easy ways.

1. Light a Bonfire

Traditionally, Holi is celebrated with a bonfire the night before. People burn leaves, twigs, and dead branches from winter to signify the burning of evil spirits. Similar to many cultures throughout history, fire is seen as a way of purification and starting things anew.

Our family loves any excuse to light our little fire pit on the back patio. We like to add a little pizazz and add color to our flames.

When my kids get older, I’d love to add a little manifestation exercise: Maybe share something we each want to let go of as we throw something into the fire to make room for the new, for color, for life.

But if that’s not your style, try ending the night with s’mores or toasted marshmallows.

2. Read a Book Together

For my littles, Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal has been our go-to since my now seven-year-old was three. She now reads it to her little brother, who is five.

Children's book with title Festival of Colors

The illustrations are vibrant, the story is easy to follow, and there is an excerpt at the end that explains what Holi is. It’s reassuring to have a resources so that I don’t incorrectly explain anything.

3. Have a Color Party

On the actual day of Holi, people throw colored powder into the air and onto each other. People also like to squirt each other with water guns or throw balloons filled with colored water. And like any festival, there is food and shared sweets with family, friends, and neighbors.

To create a mini-celebration at home, you could purchase color powder and set it up in your back or front yard. Everyone can wear white or you could line the yard with a white sheet. Each kid could have their own tray of color to toss or decorate a sheet. Find a Spotify Holi playlist (although I’m personally partial to Spotify’s Bollywood Trap Mix), order some Indian food. Let the fun begin.

Check out our Save the Date for more events!

Don’t forget to wish everyone a “Holi Hai” (hey)!

Mey Ly Ortiz
The proud daughter of immigrants, Mey grew up behind the counter of a convenience store in Kaufman, Texas. After studying communications at Texas A&M (whoop!), she got her law degree from Southern Methodist University and stuck around North Texas after meeting her husband, Jason — a Navy veteran and Ironman — in a running store. While she herself has completed six marathons, 21 half-marathons, and a handful of triathlons, it was before she earned her favorite title of all, which is mom. When she is not chasing her kids, she's chasing her best self on the Peloton, devouring a book on Audible, or myth-busting "work-life balance" on her personal blog:TheMeybe.com.