The coming arrival of spring means more sun, warmer weather, longer days. This is definitely something to celebrate! With roots in ancient Hinduism, the holiday called Holi, or the Festival of Colors, marks the end of winter and the dawn of spring, and emphasizes love, connection and fun.
As with many cultural and religious celebrations, the festival is rooted in mythological stories which have given rise to many traditions. One of these traditions is color-throwing. In celebration of Holi, people young and old gather together to drench one another with color.
The fun of this tradition for families has spread beyond the Indian community. Plus, it makes for some awesome photo ops! We've rounded up great, family-friendly Holi events taking place around our region. The official Holi holiday occurs in 2020 on March 9–10; local events are happening March 7–28. Wear white, bring your festive attitude and get in on the colorful action!
- Saturday, March 7, noon–4 p.m.: Welcome spring with dancing, traditional Desi food and color-throwing while supporting CRY (Child Rights and You) at the Seattle Holi Fest at Downtown Bellevue Park. $15; ages 12 and younger free. All ages.
- Saturday, March 7, 1–5 p.m.: Join an all-ages Holi Hai celebration at Nectar Lounge in Seattle. Dance the day away to Bollywood music, enjoy Bollywood dance lessons (2 p.m.) and special dance performances, and then get messy with colors in the LED-lit tent (3 p.m.). $10–$15; ages 12 and younger free. All ages.
- Monday, March 9, 4:30–5 p.m.: Immerse yourself in the traditions of Holi at the Redmond Library with artwork, a story time, songs and traditional recipes served during the ancient Hindu Festival. Free and for all ages.
- Saturday, March 14, noon–4 p.m.: Come to Bellevue's Crossroads Park to celebrate the Festival of Colors with music, food and fun, plus a color fight. $10–$12; ages 15 and younger and grandparents free. Color and food for purchase. All ages.
- Sunday, March 15, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Experience Holi at Lake Sammamish State Park with a live DJ, dancing, color-throwing, performances and food. Free with food for purchase; a Discover Pass is required to park. All ages.
- Saturday, March 21, noon–5 p.m.: Called Festival of Colors, this Holi fest is put on by the Vedic Cultural Center. It promises a giant party with some 5,000 attendees throwing color and dancing to fantastic music at Marymoor Park. Entry is free; buy colors, white t-shirts and food online. (Marymoor event parking costs $5, cash only.) All ages.
- Saturday, March 28, 1–3 p.m.: Put on a white shirt and head to the Phinney Neighborhood Center to join the Holi celebration, of course including a color fight! Enjoy Indian food (for purchase) and entertainment. $10 in advance; $12 day of event; ages 5 and younger free. All ages.