Welcome to India's craziest festival -- the Holi festival. Holi is a religious festival celebrated by the Hindus, and a celebration of arrival of spring. During this festival colored powder is thrown or smeared on people, and it's symbolic because this is a time when Indians are 'alike' - without any distinction of caste, creed, color or sex.
Bonfires are lit at sunset, people playing music, dancing, and drinking. If you're a female traveler traveling alone during this time be careful. Drunk Indian men can be uncomfortable, and it's not advised to spend Holi alone.
Get together with other travelers. If not, ask if you can accompany the staff at the guesthouse you're staying.
And wear clothes you don't mind getting colored ;-) I wouldn't bring my camera either. Buy a disposable camera instead and pack it in a plastic bag.
I'll be in India during this time, and will be celebrating the Holi festival with my class mates in Jaipur.
Where: You can experience Holi almost everywhere in India.
Since the Elephant Festival is in Jaipur the day before the Holi festival, it's practical to celebrate it in Jaipur :-)
Updated on July 02, 2011: Holi Festival in March 2011 was beyond crazy. All of us were dressed in unbelievable color combination. Mostly nasty ones :-P The hotel arranged a Holi party in their garden, with free Holi colors and everybody was throwing water at each other.
Later on we spent the day at a party outside the hotel. Nothing happened, and we were fine after this. Just watch out for people who are throwing powder at your eyes. One of my former class mates got them in her eyes, and it wasn't exactly delightful.
Does anyone know the date for Holi Festival in Nepal 2011? I tried to look it up but I get different dates. I know in India it's March 20th. One of the dates I got for Nepal is March 19th and since it's so close to the India date I'm guessing that may be the correct one.