Future Dates for the Hindu Holi Festival

Festival of Colors Ushers in Fertility, Love, and Springtime

Indian women throwing colored Holi powder
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When you see colored powder flying and people laughing hysterically as they are covered in vibrant blue, green, pink, and purple powder, then you know it's Holi. As more and more Indian communities form in U.S. cities, look for a fun time when Holi comes around.

Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors is an auspicious occasion in the Hindu calendar. It is widely celebrated by millions of people as a harvest festival across India and around the world.

It also ushers in the spring, a time for fertility, love, and a new season of prosperity. 

The festivities can include people smearing colored powder called "gulal" or colored water on each other, and drenching one another with squirt pistols and water balloons. Everyone is considered fair game, old and young, friend and stranger, rich and poor alike. It is a raucous and joyful celebration. 

When Is Holi?

Holi lasts for a night and a day and starts on the evening of the full moon (Purnima) in the month of Phalgun in the Hindu calendar, which occurs sometime between the end of February and the end of March in the Gregorian calendar. During the month of Phalgun, India ushers in spring when seeds sprout, flowers bloom, and the country rises from winter's slumber. 

The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, or Phagwah. On the evening of the first day, wood and dung pyres are burned to symbolize the triumph of good over evil.

The second day is when people start throwing fistfuls of powder for the carnival of colors.

Future Dates

The Hindu calendar uses lunar months and a solar year, which accounts for the different dates that Holi will fall on.

YearDate
2018Friday, March 2
2019Thursday, March 21
2020Tuesday, March 10
2021Monday, March 29
2022Friday, March 18
2023Tuesday, March 11
2024Monday, March 25
2025Friday, March 14
2026Tuesday, March 3
2027Monday, March 22
2028Saturday, March 11
2029Wednesday, February 28
2030Tuesday, March 19

Significance

Holi comes from the word "hola," meaning to offer prayer to God as thanksgiving for good harvest. Holi is celebrated every year to remind people that those who love God shall be saved and they who torture the devotees of God shall be reduced to ashes by the mythical character Holika.

There is another legend that states the start of Holi came about because of Lord Krishna's crush on his beloved Radha. Krishna—whose skin was blue—was embarrassed by his different skin color. One day, his mother playfully suggested that he can smear color on Radha’s face and change her complexion to any color he wanted. Today's festival of Holi, retains a flavor of naughtiness, by smearing your loved one with bright colors and playing pranks on each other. 

It has traditionally been celebrated in high spirit without any distinction of caste, creed, color, race, status, or sex. When everyone is covered in the colored powder or colored water it signifies unity. It breaks down the barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same in the spirit of universal brotherhood.