The festival of Holi (also known as Dhulandi) is celebrated every year in early spring, typically on the day after the full moon in early March. The Holi festival celebrates good over evil and is to remind us to always keep faith in ourselves. It’s one of the best ways to welcome spring.
At the fervent celebration, people may throw powdered color (gulal) or water balloons at each other, accompanied by Bollywood beats, dancing, and a general sense of wild abandon and unbridled joy. At some Holi celebrations, the color craziness is optional–it can be a very messy celebration.
If you plan to participate in throwing colors, wear something comfortable that you are willing to stain (an inexpensive white t-shirt is perfect). Colors are cornstarch based and safe natural colors. They can be (mostly) dusted off. There may not be water available at the event for wash up, but soap and water at home will do the trick.
To assist in cleanup, you may want to apply a moisturizer to skin and coat your hair with a small amount of coconut or olive oil before heading to a Holi event. And don’t forget to bring something to protect your car seats for the ride home.
Annual Holi Festivals in the Seattle-Tacoma metro region
The following groups usually host Holi Festivals each spring. For Holi festivals, as well as other upcoming cultural heritage festivals, see the calendar below.
Bellevue Hindu Temple and Cultural Center. Holi Festival of Colors at Crossroads Park in Bellevue is when powdered color flies, a DJ plays dance music, and Indian food is sold. Ticket includes admission to the event. Color & food available for purchase. Children younger than 15 are free. Tickets: $12 at the door. Color (3 packets) $10. Discount: $10 online advance purchase. $8 group tickets (10 or more tickets). More info: https://www.facebook.com/bellevuehindutemple/
Holi Hai the Festival of Colors in Seattle celebrates the coming of spring, the joy of friendship, and equality for all. All nationalities and ethnicities are encouraged to participate. This event historically sells out in advance, so get tickets early if you want to join in this happiest of festivals. There are two separate festival events: an all-ages afternoon event and 21+ only nightclub event, a Jai Ho! Dance Party complete with that Bollywood flair. All-ages afternoon Holi Festival, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Tickets: adults (14+) $25. Kids (age 5-13) $10. Discount: $20 advance purchase. $15/person groups of four. More info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holi-hai-all-ages-color-festival-in-seattle-w-dj-prashant-tickets-91060796293. Jai Ho! Dance Party (21+), 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM. Tickets: $35 at the door. Discount: $20 early bird, $29 advance purchase. $23/person groups of four. More info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seattle-holi-hai-10th-annual-color-festival-jai-ho-dance-party-tickets-91065157337.
Holi Festival of Colors at Phinney Neighborhood Association in Seattle. Celebrate this traditional Indian festival with music, dance, storytelling, food, and a fun color fight. With each ticket you get two color packets, with the opportunity to buy more on site. Tickets support the cost of putting on the festival. Tickets: $12 day of event. Kids 5 and under are free. Discounts: $10 in advance. A pay what you can option is available. More info: https://www.phinneycenter.org/calendar/holi-festival-colors-2020/
Red Baraat Festival of Colors at the Tractor Tavern is an immersive celebration through music, dance and visuals celebrating the Hindu holiday of Holi with a colorful array of South Asian sounds. Traditionally, Holi is marked by public gatherings of families and strangers sharing songs, dance, and the exchange of ‘colors’ – colorful dry powder or colored water playfully thrown amongst the crowds of revelers. It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and for many, a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships. More info: https://www.redbaraat.com/festival-of-colors/
Upcoming Cultural Heritage Festivals
The calendar event list below includes Holi festivals as well as other cultural heritage festivals and events in March and April this year. Most Holi festivals occur in spring (March-April), but have been known to occur other times of the year.
(If nothing is listed below, there are no upcoming cultural heritage festivals in our calendar. Theoretically this shouldn’t happen. We update cultural heritage festivals throughout the year.)
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Friday, May 28, 2021
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Sunday, May 30, 2021
Monday, May 31, 2021
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Sunday, June 6, 2021