Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the Festival of Love, the Festival of Colors, or the Festival of Spring. This exciting celebration has become known as India’s most vivid, joyous festival, often being celebrated by throwing around colored powder and water balloons. Though it originated in South Asia it has gained popularity across the world.
This year, the festival will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 8th. Here are some exciting ways to celebrate this festival in NYC.
Attend one of NYC’s best Holi parties and boogie down to the best mix of Bollywood hits, top 40, hip-hop, house, and mashups brought to you by special guest DJs. The night will be filled with delicious drinks, as well as a self-serving drink wall, and tons of group games to participate in. Plus, staff will be on hand to paint your face and hand out glow sticks. Get your tickets here.
Where: Slate NYC – 54 West 21st St.
When: Sunday, March 5, 10p.m. – 4a.m.
2. Celebrate with family programming at Waterline Square Park
Enjoy a colorful and vibrant dance performance inspired by a blend of Bollywood, folk, and semi-classical choreography, paired with popular music. Then, take part in an energetic and engaging Holi inspired Bollywood and Bhangra dance lesson, before the ceremony concludes with an Indian drummer (Dholi) playing Holi beats, while attendees play with gulaal (traditional powdered color). Register here.
Where: Waterline Square Park – Riverside Blvd. between 59th and 61st St.
When: Wednesday, March 8, 4p.m. – 6p.m.
3. Storytime & a puppet show at NYPL
Author Anu Sehgal, founder of The Culture Tree, will debut her first book on Holi. This special bi-lingual (Hindi and English) book reading of Kahani Rangeeli will teach one of the ancient stories of Holi and how it is celebrated. This session will be a puppet storytime, where children will get to meet Krishna, Sudama and Radha, as puppets. Afterwards there will be a puppet making activity and Holi face painting. Learn more here.
Where: NYPL 53rd Street Library – 18 West 53rd St.
When: Friday, March 10, 4:30p.m. – 5:30p.m.
4. Honor this colorful celebration at The Seaport’s Holi Festival
The Seaport is partnering with The Culture Tree, a NY-based organization that promotes cultural literacy about South Asia, to host a number of Holi festivities. Kids can experience storytime and a puppet show, while enjoying traditional Holi foods by Indian food expert Nisha Vedi Pawar along the way. The festival concludes with a Bhangra dance lesson, an energetic traditional folk dance from Punjab. For more info click here.
Where: South Street Seaport Museum – 12 Fulton St.
When: Saturday, March 18th, 11a.m.
5. Enjoy a day of Holi events at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Head to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for a day of fun filled with Holi-centered. Be sure to wear white as the main event includes heading to the park and covering yourself in different colored powder! Keep updated here as more info gets released.
Where: Brooklyn Children’s Museum – 145 Brooklyn Ave.
When: Saturday, April 1
6. Holi In The City – NYC’s Biggest Festival of Colors Day Party
Holi in the City is NYC’s biggest–and most colorful–Holi celebration. Join a crowd at Tailgate and enjoy the Festival of Colors in style with food, drinks, and the amazing beats by NYC’s top entertainers. And be sure to wear white as you’ll get painted in reds, yellows, greens, pinks as you enjoy an afternoon of messy, color fun! Learn more here.
Where: Tailgate NYC – 86 N 11th St.
When: Multiple Dates
7. Dig into delicious Holi-inspired dishes
SONA, a delicious Indian restaurant in the Financial District, is decked out in traditional festive decor and will be offering some fun specials for the holiday! Dish specials include:
- Dahi Bhalla Chaat – fermented lentil dumplings, yogurt dressing, hot and sweet chutney
- Shahi Paneer – house pressed cheese roulade, cashew cream korma
- Changezi Chicken – old delhi street style roast chicken, stir fried peppers and onions
- Cassata Ice Cream Cake – pistachio, strawberry, saffron kulfi
Where: SONA – 36 E 20th St.