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House of Holi

Holi events in London

Get colourful and get messy by celebrating Holi festival 2017 in London

By Time Out London Things To Do

If you see people walking around London covered head-to-toe in eye-poppingly bright multicoloured clothing, don't worry – tie-dye isn't back. It's actually just people celebrating Holi festival, by chucking paint at each other.

The Hindu festival of Holi marks the beginning of spring every year. Falling on Monday March 13 in 2017, it usually happens during Febraury or March depending on the Hindu calendar date. Taking place mainly in India and Nepal, people of all ages and backgrounds take to the streets to celebrate and playfully throw coloured powder paint, known as gulal.

Although the London parties are pretty removed from the traditional Hindu festivities, the same air of celebratory fun and friendship remains – as does the powder paint-lobbing. Covering your mates and strangers in gulal makes up the action at most Holi parties in London (including Holi Land Festival of Colours at the vast Great Suffolk St Warehouse), but many also offer lots of Indian food alongside the shenanigans.

If you are partying Holi-style, white clothes are best to really bring out the colour, and obviously only wear things that you don't mind get messed-up. And look out for flying clouds of colour coating your phone if you're trying to capture that perfectly Instagrammable moment. 

More great spring happenings

Blossom trees over a path in Greenwich Park, south-east London.
Photograph: Sutterstock/John Parfrey

Spring events in London

Things to do

Prepare for warmer, lighter times by mapping out your schedule of fun for spring. We've got it all covered, including the best exhibitions, restaurant and bar openings, films, parties, theatre shows and much more.


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