When you start to see vibrant powdered dye flying through the air, you know it’s Holi, the Hindu celebration of spring and renewal. It’s known as the Festival of Colors, and often at festivities you'll see people throw colorful powder or water on each other. Why? In short, the powder (called “gulal”) signifies the victory of good over evil, but it's also an homage to the bright seasonal colors.
This month, you'll find events marking Holi all across the city. Tip: Wear white to really make the colors pop!
Family Holi at Waterline Square on Wednesday, March 8th, starting at 3:30 p.m., on the Upper West Side. It’s the kick-off to Holi, with Indian Consul General of New York Mr. Randhir Jaiswal and Council Member Gale Brewer welcoming revelers to the plaza near Riverside Park South. There will be colors given to children, with additional colors for sale, as well as vocal and dance performances. There’s also food for purchase. Free; register here, Freedom Place South and West 60th Street.
Red Baraat Festival of Colors at Brooklyn Bowl, Friday, March 10th, 8 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). This evening of music from the South Asian diaspora is in its 11th year, bringing together Red Baraat, the “best party band” (according to NPR), and performers Kahani and Shubh Saran. Tickets at $20; 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn.
Holi at Lincoln Center! in the David Rubenstein Atrium on Saturday, March 11th, 11 a.m. Dance, music, and face painting are part of the program from Ajna Dance Company and Lincoln Center. Malai Ice Cream and Indian sweet shop Tagmo are among the vendors, and each attendee will get a pack of color to celebrate at home. Free, but seating and entry are first-come, first-served; line starts at the atrium’s entrance on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets.
Holi in the City at Tailgate Brooklyn on Saturday, March 11th, and Sunday, March 12th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults 21+ can enjoy a Holi party in Williamsburg, with food trucks and bars on the scene. There will be “color play” between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $35-50 each day, details; 86 N 11th Street, Brooklyn.
Happy Hues of Holi at the Rubin Museum of Art, Sunday, March 12th, 19, and 26, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The Rubin Museum’s Mandala Lab is open to families for creative exploration, and this month, they’re observing Holi and its colorful traditions. Registration required with museum admission ($19 for an adult, free for children under 12); 150 West 17th Street in Chelsea.
Holi at The Seaport on Saturday, March 18th, starting at 11 a.m. The South Street Seaport has a full day of activities: Storytime and puppet making; food of Holi; a puppet show; a dance and drum performance; collaborate mural; and, of course, color play! Colors must be purchased from the Seaport vendors, and advanced registration is required for the mural; Fulton and Water Streets in lower Manhattan.
Celebrate Holi! at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, March 18th at 2:15 p.m. Performances of Hindustani music, Kathak dance, and more are planned from Abha B. Roy, the Srijan Dance Company, and the Apoorva Mudgal Ensemble. Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 day-of); 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing.
Holi Cruise: Festival of Colors Bollywood Yacht Party On The Hudson River on Saturday, March 18th at 12:30 p.m. Say “I’m on a boat” to Bollywood music during this day cruise. Food available for purchase. Tickets start at $39.46; Pier 83 in Midtown West.
Celebrate Holi at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on Saturday, April 1st, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. Children and their adults can enjoy food, music, dance, and, yes, colors with a full program of activities that culminates with color play at Brower Park. Colored powders are available for purchase online and onsite (the museum recommends buying in advance). Admission is $13 each; 145 Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights.
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