Culture / Festivals & Traditions / India

How to Celebrate a Safe Holi as a Woman

Woman celebrating Holi in India. Credit SHOWKAT SHAFI/AL JAZEERA

Holi can be a wonderful day in India, but it doesn’t come without worries if you’re a woman. There are though ways to celebrate a safe and amazing Holi as a woman in the country.

You may have seen pictures of Holi, the festival of colors in India, out there. It is celebrated every year in March, on a date that varies according to the lunar calendar. Holi is one of the biggest festivals in India, and certainly a very interesting occasion to be in the country.

Holi symbolizes the arrival of spring, the victory of good over evil, joy and the repair of broken relationships. It is a day of great joy, music, colorful people in the streets and parties everywhere. If you are thinking of coming to India during the festival, check out our tips below.


celebrating Holi in India
Celebrating Holi in India

On the day of the festival, people wear old clothes and buy colored powders, sold in the middle of the street in cities. In addition to powders, it is common to buy pistols and water balloons. People also usually put oil on their hair and moisturizer on their skin to make it easier to remove the colors later. The use of sunglasses is also recommended to protect the eyes from dust.

So, they go out on the streets, get together at parties or at the homes of friends and family, and start to pass the powders and pour water on each other. Everything, of course, accompanied by a lot of live music, food and sometimes bhang lassi, a kind of yoghurt with marijuana, very common at this time of year.

Holi is a very strong festival in northern India, and the celebrations are quite large in cities like Delhi and Jaipur. For tourists, however, it is good to note some tips for celebrating a safe Holi, especially if you are a woman.


Most of the people who celebrate Holi in the middle of the street are men, as you can see in the photos in this post. So, if you are a woman, it is not a good idea to celebrate Holi in the middle of the street, especially if you are alone or with no men in your group. As it is a festival with a lot of physical contacts, there is a great risk in the middle of the street that men will pass your hand on you, under the pretext of the festival, and that they will have colored powders in their hands.

  1. The ideal, for women, is to celebrate with friends or in private places, such as someone’s home.
  2. Another cool tip is to look for closed parties, where you pay for the ticket. This helps a lot to filter who enters the party and provides a safe environment. These parties take place across the country and are organized by hotels and restaurants. Try to discover these events in the city where you plan to spend Holi.
  3. Finally, as a beauty tip, keep in mind that many of the powders can stain clothes, so wear old clothes, slippers, and if your hair is blond or has highlights, cover it with a cap, as the colours can stain the hair too, especially if the water is splashed over the powders.

Chatting today with several women who celebrated Holi in India this year, all those who were in the middle of the street had unpleasant harassment moments, with some man trying to touch them inappropriately, despite having enjoyed the festival of general way. So, speaking as someone who lives in India, this is a precaution that needs to be taken seriously.

That said, it is a unique festival in the world, and worth visiting! Take the necessary precautions and have a lot of fun on Holi!

How to Celebrate a Safe Holi as a Woman
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An Indo-Brazilian couple sharing their love for Travel in India, exploring different cultures and delivering life changing travel experiences.

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