Holi, the festival of colours, is one of the most vibrant and lively festivals celebrated across India. It is a fascinating cultural and religious festival to welcome the Spring season and involves local/mass gatherings. This year, Holi will be celebrated on Wednesday (08 March) while the preceding festival of Holika Dahan (involves traditional bonfire) will begin on Tuesday night (07 March).

Given that COVID-19 case trajectory has become quite stable with authorities withdrawing most/all restrictions across Indian States and Union Territories, the festival is likely to be celebrated with high spirits in a pre-pandemic fashion. Like any other religious celebration, Holi is not free of risks as well. Likelihood of local and traffic disruptions increases during this period and authorities tend to strengthen security checks and deployments along with issuing additional guidelines.

Potential Risks During the Celebrations

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Across India:

  • In view of the ongoing G20 meetings and security threats posed by proKhalistani activists, security forces are likely to maintain nationwide heightened vigilance, especially, in Punjab where unidentified individuals have threatend certain politicians for speaking against Amritpal Singh, an Indian Khalistan separatist activist.

Mumbai, Maharashtra:

  • Prohibitory orders to remain effective from Sunday (05 March) to Saturday (11 March). List of punishable offences under section 135 include:
    • Public Utterances: obscene words, songs, or slogans.
    • Gestures, mimetic representations, placards, posters offending dignity and morality.
    • Throwing coloured water, powder, or dyes on pedestrians.
    • Attacking with water balloons filled with coloured or plain water.
  • Additionally, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has cautioned against unauthorized tree-cutting activity during Holi. Violation fee for the same ranges between INR 1,000-5,000 and jail term from one week to one year.


  • In view of past instances, Delhi Metro all lines including the Rapid Metro/Airport Express Line hours are likely to be affected.
  • Preventive measures against use of wet colours, balloons, and pistons to remain effective across in the vicinity of North and South campus of Delhi University.
  • Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Uttar Pradesh
  • Section 144 under CrPC (prohibits gathering of more than four or more people) imposed until Friday (31 March) to maintain law and order.

Popular Celebration Venues

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Personal Safety

  • Given that there are increased instances of alcoholism, rate of substance abuse and consequent risk of molestation and other forms of inappropriate behavior during this festival, female employees are advised to remain extra vigilant of their surroundings. It is recommended to use office/staff transport services. For more safety measures, refer to MitKat’s Women Safety Handbook 2023.
  • As Holi involves local and/or mass feasts, it is advised to remain cautious of spiking of food and drinks.
  • Women are especially advised to not travel alone or engage in verbal spats during late evening or late-night hours.
  • MitKat advises against wearing expensive jewelleries or carrying large amounts of cash/valuables while celebrating Holi.
  • It is also advised to carry electronic gadgets and important documents (id cards, ATM cards, etc) in sealed water-proof packets.


  • If partaking in the festivities, it is advised to use organic colours and refrain from applying colours to animals. Take adequate preventive measures to avoid the risk of skin allergies/ infections.
  • MitKat advises people with allergies (skin, eye or other) and conditions such as sinus, asthma, or any other respiratory issue to remain extra cautious while participating in Holi celebrations.
  • As air pollutant levels tend to rise during and post Holi celebrations, it is advised to wear face masks.
  • Since Holi is dominantly an outdoor event and temperatures are set to rise in view of approaching summer, it is advised to maintain proper hydration to avoid physical difficulties like exhaustion or dehydration.
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