Join Maya, Neel and their pet squirrel, Chintu for an adventure in India and an introduction to the story and traditions of the Holi festival.
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Let’s Celebrate Holi! India’s Festival of Colors is the third book in the Maya and Neel’s India Adventure Series – a collection of children’s books sharing the beautiful cultural diversity of India. #ReadYourWorld
In this story, Maya, Neel, and Chintu travel to India to visit their cousin, or Didi (a sister or girl cousin), for the annual spring celebration – Holi.
They learn about the famous festival of colors, including why and how it is celebrated and some of the different traditions from around the country.
*An interactive storytime video with one of the authors is included at the end of this post.
- The Pronunciation Guide before the story is a helpful tool for specific terminology.
- The Story of Holi is creatively presented as an “Info Zoom” at the beginning of the book, briefly highlighting the message of the celebration: Good always wins over evil.
The kids (and Chintu, of course) prepare for the Holi festivities.
They head to the market for gulaal (colored powders) that will be used to put on each other’s faces and to make colored water for spraying each other.
They join the neighborhood for Holika Dahan, a burning of the bonfire on the night before Holi.
On the big day, everyone puts on their white clothes (the whiter the better) and fills pichkari (water guns) and water balloons with colored water.
They gather with friends and shout“Holi Hai” as they sing, dance, play and splash with colored water (“the festival of colors”).
After playing Holi all day, the children get cleaned up and listen to a story explaining how Holi is celebrated in various parts of India.
Holi Around India (another “Info Zoom”) highlights some of the different traditions. In the state of Manipur, people hold hands and dance in big circles for a moonlight dance knowns as Thabal Chongba. While in the state of Punjab, people celebrate with events that showcase their strength, such as standing on running horses.
The children change into beautiful Indian clothes for a traditional Holi snack of Thandai and Gujia (a milkshake type drink and dumplings).
Holi celebrations end with exchanging sweets with the neighbors, admiring the big and bright full moon, and wondering where their next adventure will take them.
The last 2-page spread of the story, an “Info Recap”, presents an illustrated series of questions and answers for guiding an after-reading discussion.
Holi Classroom Activity Kit
Lesson plans for 45 minutes, 60 minutes, or a week-long celebration.
Learn about additional Indian celebrations such as Ramadan & Eid, Diwali, an Indian wedding, and more.
Visit places such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Taj Mahal with more books in the Maya and Neel’s India Adventure Book Series.
Go Further! Explore the geography and culture of India with our Research Project for young explorers.
Students use a variety of resources (including our kid-friendly India profile page) to gather and organize information for a final presentation.