Holi 2024: Story, Significance, Dates, Celebration Overseas

20 Mar 2024
8 mins read
Written by Riona lye

Can you believe how quickly the first quarter of the year is zipping by? And guess what? With the chill thawing out, it’s almost Holi time! Whether you’re a Holi newbie or it’s an annual tradition for you, we’ve got the lowdown on everything Holi.


And you know what’s cool? Holi isn’t just an Indian thing these days. This festival’s spirit has taken flight, spreading its colourful wings overseas and creating a global network of celebrations where diverse cultures unite in the lively fun of this ancient festival.


So, let’s chat about the story, significance, dates, and how you can enjoy Holi abroad in 2024. Excited to jump into it? Let’s dive right in!

What is Holi?

Wondering about Holi and why do we celebrate Holi? In a nutshell, it’s a lively Hindu spring festival, celebrated in India and Nepal. More commonly, it is known as the Festival of Colours.


The significance of Holi goes beyond hues – Holi symbolises the victory of good over evil, featuring joyful traditions like tossing colourful powders and water.

What is the story behind Holi?

So, you know how we mentioned that Holi represents the victory of good over evil? You might be curious about the whole backstory and the characters involved in this Hindu tale, right?


Well, the tale behind Holi varies depending on where you are, but there’s one popular version that’s told quite often. It involves a demoness named Holika and a devotee of Lord Vishnu named Prahlada.


The legend goes that Holika tried to burn Prahlada in a fire, but he walked out without a scratch. That’s seen as a symbol of the triumph of good over evil.

What about the coloured powder and water used in the festival? What is its significance?

So, you know how people throw coloured powder and water at each other during Holi? It’s actually connected to the playful antics of Lord Krishna.


Here’s the story: according to Hindu mythology, a young Krishna was a little jealous of his sweetheart Radha’s fair complexion. So, in a cheeky mood, he decided to dab some colour on Radha’s face. This fun-filled episode became an integral part of Holi celebrations, symbolising love, unity, and the breaking down of social walls.


Over the years, this tradition of using bright colours and water just stuck and grew into a big part of the Holi festivities. And that’s how Holi evolved into the vibrant and colourful festival we all know and love today!

If you are still confused, here is a summary of the significance of Holi…

It’s celebrated for a bunch of reasons, both rooted in mythology and culture:


  • First up, Good vs Evil: One of the main themes is celebrating the win of good (that’s Prahlada, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu) over evil (the demoness Holika). It’s all about championing righteousness.
  • Then there’s Spring: Holi also marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Those bright colours used during the festival symbolise the blooming flowers and the joy of new beginnings.
  • Community Spirit: Holi’s also about bringing folks together, breaking down social walls, and promoting unity. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, everyone gathers to celebrate, strengthening that sense of community.
  • Fun and Games: The tradition of messing around with coloured powders and water adds a fun, joyful vibe to the celebration. It’s all about having a good laugh and enjoying the moment.
  • Love and Friendship: Holi’s often linked with love and friendship, inspired by the playful antics between Lord Krishna and Radha. It’s a time to show some love and deepen bonds with family and friends.
  • Cultural Pride: Holi is deeply tied to Hindu culture and traditions. Celebrating Holi helps pass these traditions down from one generation to the next, fostering a sense of identity and continuity.


All in all, Holi’s this multi-layered festival that combines religious, cultural, and social elements, creating a vibrant and inclusive celebration loved by millions.

When is Holi in 2024 in India?

When is Holi this year?


For the uninitiated, it’s a guessing game because the date shifts every year based on the Hindu calendar. This time, save the date: March 25th, 2024 – that’s when the colourful celebration unfolds!

How to celebrate Holi overseas?

Alright, let’s shift gears a bit. In this part, we’ll discuss experiencing Holi from two perspectives: one as an Indian living abroad and the other as a guest invited to join in the Holi celebrations.

Celebrating Holi abroad as an Indian

Here are some tips to help you rock your overseas Holi celebrations:

Get Organised

Start by checking out local Holi events or plan your own bash with friends and family ahead of time. Make sure you’ve got all the traditional Holi colours and accessories. You might need to order them online or scout for local sources.

Invite Everyone

Don’t forget to invite your local buddies and neighbours to join the fun. It’s a great way to encourage cultural exchange and build community vibes.

Celebrate Indian Culture

Take the time to explain the significance and traditions of Holi to your non-Indian pals, so they get the full cultural context of the festival. Put up traditional music, dance, and food. It’ll make the experience richer for everyone.

Follow the Rules

Keep tabs on any local rules about public celebrations, noise levels, and the use of colours. Make sure your party is in line with local norms.


Don’t forget to choose natural and eco-friendly Holi colours to minimise environmental impact and ensure everyone’s safety.

Dress the part

Slip into comfy old clothes that can handle some colour stains. Maybe even go for traditional Indian attire to add a touch of authenticity. Before the colour frenzy begins, oil your hair and apply some oil or moisturiser on your skin. This makes colour removal easier and keeps your skin and hair safe.

Share the Sweetness

Whip up or buy some traditional Indian sweets and share them with your friends and neighbours. It’s a tasty way to add a culinary touch to the celebration.


And above all, remember to celebrate Holi with joy and respect, embracing the mix of cultures in the spirit of this colourful festival.

What to do if you are invited to a Holi celebration?

So, you’ve been invited to a Holi celebration? That’s super exciting! Here’s a quick guide on how to enjoy the vibrant festivities:


Make sure to respond to the invitation quickly, letting them know if you’ll be attending. It’ll help your host plan the party better.

Dress right and prep your skin and hair

Go for old, comfy clothes that you won’t mind getting covered in colour. White is often a popular choice as it really shows off the colourful powders.


Before you leave, apply some oil or moisturizer to your skin and hair. It makes washing off the colours later a breeze and gives your skin and hair some protection.

Bring some fun

Unless the host has said otherwise, think about bringing along some Holi colours and fun accessories like water balloons or pichkaris (water guns) to add to the festivities. You can also take part in any cultural activities or rituals that the host has lined up. This could include traditional music, dance performances, or other Holi customs.

Respect the culture and be considerate

Get to know Holi traditions and customs so you can fully join in the celebrations. Be open to learning and appreciating the cultural significance of the festival.


And while you are having fun, remember to respect other people’s boundaries. Not everyone might be into a wild celebration, so keep an eye on their comfort levels.

Dig in

Holi usually comes with loads of yummy food and sweets. Enjoy the festive treats and maybe even bring a dish to share, if it’s appropriate.

Clean up

Be ready to help with cleaning up after the party. Follow any instructions your host gives for removing colours and keeping things clean.


Keep these tips in mind to make the most of the Holi celebration! You’ll have an amazing time while respecting cultural traditions and creating lasting memories with friends and family.

Before you go…

With the festive season in India approaching, are you finding yourself stuck abroad and unable to make it back home?


No need to stress – Instarem has got your back! Instarem allows you to send money to India at competitive exchange rates. Whether you’re in another state or a different country, you can easily and securely transfer funds to your family and friends whenever you need.


Your thoughtful gesture of sending money will surely be appreciated by your loved ones as they celebrate these special occasions together.


Try Instarem for your next transfer. You can download the app or sign up here to send your warm wishes for a happy festive season!


*Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products.

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