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. For Holi, celebrants young and old gather together to drench one another with colored powder that sticks to white clothing. The fun of this tradition for families has spread beyond the Indian community. It’s a wild good time and it makes for some awesome photo ops!
We’ve rounded up this year’s family-friendly Holi events taking place around our region. The official Holi holiday happens March 8; local events take place March 3–26, 2023. Wear white if you like, bring your festive attitude and get in on the colorful action!
Holi events around Seattle in 2023:
- Friday, March 3, 4:30–5:30 p.m. (sold out) or 6–7 p.m.: In partnership with Hindi Time Kids, KidsQuest Children’s Museum hosts a Holi Festival workshop where kids can create their own vibrant canvas using dry color pigments.
- Saturday, March 4, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.: Family-friendly Holi activities are front and center at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Family Holi Celebration. The fun-filled lineup includes an Indian puppet show, Bollywood dance workshop, art activities and bilingual story time in Hindi and English.
- Saturday, March 11, 10:30 a.m.–noon: Bring the kids to the Bellevue Arts Museum and, with help from Hindi Time Kids, discover how the colorful festival of Holi is celebrated through storytelling, art and music.
- Saturday, March 11, noon–4 p.m.: Welcome spring with dancing, traditional food and color throwing while supporting CRY (Child Rights and You) at the Seattle Holi Fest being held at Downtown Bellevue Park. $15; ages 12 and younger free. All ages.
- Saturday, March 11, 7–9 p.m. or Sunday, March 12, 11 a.m.–1p.m.: You have two chances to catch a free Holi celebration featuring a music concert by Anita Basu, a classical vocalist and dancer who will lead other artists and audience members in spontaneous meditation. Head to Kelly Ethnic Cultural Theatre in Seattle on Saturday, March 11, or to the Sammamish Library on Sunday, March 12. All ages.
- Sunday, March 12, noon–4 p.m.: Bellevue’s Tyee Middle School hosts a fun Festival of Colors celebration with music, food and fun, plus a color fight. $10; ages 9 and younger free. Color and food for purchase. All ages.
- Saturday, March 18, noon–5 p.m.: Called Festival of Colors, this Holi fest is put on by the Vedic Cultural Center. It promises to be 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 in advance online, or at the event.
- Saturday, March 25, 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. $12; $7 ages 11 and younger. All ages.
- Sunday, March 26, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.: With the Space Needle as your backdrop, celebrate the Festival of Colors at the Seattle Center with music, dance, food trucks and more. Purchase your colors on-site and join in the fun! Free entry, but registration is required. All ages.