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Celebrating Together: Holi

Published on Mar. 25, 2024

Springtime is here, and the Central Valley is finally lush and green. At Valley Children’s, we recognize and celebrate this new season and the different holidays that our community celebrates. This season, we would like to introduce you to Holi, a celebration of springtime from South Asian communities.

What is Holi?

Holi (pronounced “hoe-lee”) is the Hindu festival of colors, love and spring often celebrated by South Asian people. This day signifies the triumph of good over evil. It originated in India, but many parts of the Western world now celebrate Holi thanks to the Indian diaspora. Usually, the festival is celebrated at the end of winter on a full moon day in the middle of March. This year, it will be celebrated on Monday, March 25th. “Holi Hai!” is the traditional greeting between people on this holy day.

Cultural Background

Holi is a national holiday in India and traditionally, people wear white clothes where they throw water and colored powder at each other to celebrate the new colors of spring. Many homes prepare special snacks, sweets and other delicacies to celebrate the festival. In Indian culture, springtime means celebrating the coming harvest, fertile lands and the end of the cold frosts. Springtime is also a time to clean one's home and to cleanse the mind of conflicts and mend relationships. People are encouraged to forgive and forget quarrels from the past on this day.

In the Hindu religion, the night before Holi is called Holika Dahan or “little Holi” where people gather around a bonfire to celebrate the victory of good over evil and the arrival of the new. The next morning, people smear and drench each other with colored powders and water guns filled with water or water balloons. The streets are filled with drums and music to encourage people to sing, dance and enjoy the festivities. Since it is a holiday, people are encouraged to visit their family and friends throughout the day.

How to Celebrate Holi with your Family 

  • Create your own Holi powder and celebrate at home!
  • Listen to a story about Holi. 
  • See if your community is holding any Holi celebrations. 
  • Visit with friends and family. 
  • Color your own Holi celebration or use a coloring page

Happy Holi from our Valley Children’s family to yours!


About the Authors

Hailey Nelson, MD, FAAP, IBCLC is a complex care pediatrician at Valley Children’s Charlie Mitchell Children’s Center. Dr. Nelson enjoys working with children of all ages and abilities and is especially passionate about providing the best possible care to medically fragile children and their families. As the ambassador for Safe Kids Central California, she is a vocal advocate for children’s wellness and regularly appears in news media discussing pediatric healthcare. She is also a licensed breastfeeding consultant, certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultants to support nursing mothers and their babies. Learn more about Dr. Nelson here. 


Dr. Bhavishya Devireddy, DO is a California native who comes to Valley Children's from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine - California and is in her third year of Postgraduate Residency. Dr. Devireddy is a diabetes empowerment and education program instructor where she continues to advocate for and educate patients who are struggling with diabetes care. Dr. Devireddy believes in a care philosophy of building relationships with her patients to help them achieve their full potential. Learn more about Dr. Devireddy here.