children spraying man with water and colours

What do you know about Holi? Read this article to find out what people do at this special time!


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the article and do the other exercises.

Reading text

What is Holi?

Holi is a very old Hindu festival that comes from India and Nepal. It's sometimes called the festival of colours. It celebrates the start of spring and the victory of good over evil. An important part of Holi is forgiving anyone who has upset you and making friends with them again. 

When is Holi?

The date changes each year depending on the full moon, but it is some time between the end of February and the middle of March. It lasts a night and a day. 

How do people celebrate?

The night before Holi is called Holika Dahan. People make bonfires which show that it's the end of winter and good is winning over evil. People sing, dance and do other traditional activities around the fire.

The next day is called Rangwali Holi. In the morning everyone goes into the streets, and people throw coloured powders and water at each other. Some people use water pistols and water balloons. After a few hours, everyone is very wet and covered in a rainbow of different colours. Some colours have meanings; for example, red means love and green means a new start. There is also music, and people play the drums. It's a lot of fun!

What do people eat?

In the evening people put on clean clothes, go and visit their friends and family and eat sweets and other tasty food. One special food is called gujiya, a sweet made with dried fruit and nuts. Lots of people also have thandai, a delicious cold milk drink with nuts and spices.

Holi is a popular and colourful holiday which is now celebrated in many places around the world. All kinds of people can enjoy it together, having fun with both old and new friends. Happy Holi!


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