Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is a Hindu festival celebrated widely across India in the Phalguna month (February or March), marking the arrival of spring season. This year, Holi falls on 25 March 2024, with Holika Dahan (religious event involving bonfire) celebrated a day prior, on 24 March 2024. This year will also witness grand celebrations at Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, as it will be the first celebration after the inauguration of the temple.

The festival involves elaborate celebrations with friends and family playing with colours and holding processions. However, these festivities can pose security concerns, including petty crimes, harassment against women, and incidents of spiking, necessitating heightened vigilance and caution. The likelihood of local and traffic disruptions increases during this period, prompting authorities to strengthen security checks and deployments along with issuing additional guidelines.

Potential Risks During the Celebrations

Potential Risks

Guidelines and Restrictions:

Across India:

  • In view of the impending National elections, heightened security measures will be implemented across India. Law enforcement agencies will increase their presence in key celebration venues to maintain public order and ensure public safety. Measures may include enhanced surveillance, deployment of additional personnel, and strict enforcement of regulations to prevent any potential security threats or disruptions.

Mathura, Uttar Pradesh:

  • In anticipation of thousands of devotees visiting the Banke-Bihari Temple for Lathmar Holi (Holi with sticks), police are likely to enforce traffic restrictions similar to those imposed on 20 March 2024 for Rangbhari Ekadashi (auspicious day).
    • Vehicle entry into Barsana may be barred, with heavy vehicles redirected away from the town at the Barsana intersection, affecting routes from Chhata, Nandgaon, and Govardhan.
    • Access to Barsana from various points, including via Rana ki Pyau and Govardhan Road drain, will likely be closed.
    • The route from Kaman Road to Barsana may also be sealed off.
    • However, emergency services such as ambulances and fire trucks will be exempt from these restrictions.

Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh:

  • The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust plans to celebrate Holi for the first time at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya on 25 March 2024, with several activities scheduled.
  • While the authorities are yet to announce any restrictions, there is a likelihood of heightened security measures, including intensive checking at district borders, transportation hubs such as the airport, railway stations, and bus stations, as well as in the vicinity of temple premises.

Kolkata, West Bengal:

  • During Holi in Kolkata, Dol Jatra or Dola Yatra, a religious procession, is generally held. It is conducted at several venues, including temples devoted to Radha and Krishna, such as the ISKCON temple in Alipore and the RadhaGovinda temple in Bagbazar.
  • Due to Dola Yatra, the Kolkata Metro service has scheduled the first metro on the north-south branch to depart at around 1430 hours on 25 March 2024, serving Dakshineshwar, Dum Dum, and Kavi Subhash stations. However, there are no alterations to the schedule of the last metro for the night.

New Delhi:

  • In view of past instances, all lines of the Delhi Metro, including the Rapid Metro and Airport Express Line, may experience disruptions in operating hours.
  • The Delhi University administration has implemented security measures to ensure safety during Holi on campus.
    • Control rooms have been established in both the northern and southern campuses, and police and security personnel will conduct patrols around the area.
    • A Campus Security Vehicle (Vamika) will provide round-the-clock surveillance.
New Delhi

Mumbai, Maharashtra:

  • The Mumbai Police is anticipated to issue a list of prohibitions under section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, to ensure law and order.
  • 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 without consent.
    • Attacking with water balloons.

Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Uttar Pradesh:

  • The Greater Noida Authority has scheduled water supply for three times on 25 March 2024: from 0700-0930 hours, 1200-1600 hours, and 1900-2100 hours.
  • In case of any disruptions, tanker operators are instructed to stay alert. Residents can report any issues or complaints regarding water supply to the following mobile numbers: 9811839456, 9760660027, 8171288359, 9871090100, 9873763995, 9899331572, 9654302913, 8285944937, 8377911380.

Bengaluru, Karnataka:

  • The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has issued an order restricting the use of water by commercial establishments for Holi celebrations due to ongoing water scarcity in the city.
  • The authorities may further issue prohibitory orders restricting the sale and use of certain items like water balloons and pichkaris (water guns). Authorities may also encourage the community to opt for eco-friendly and water-saving ways to observe the festival.

Popular Celebration Venues

Celebration 1


Personal Safety

  • Given that there are increased instances of alcoholism, cases 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 2024.
  • Recommended to save emergency contact numbers in your phones and carry a list of important contacts, including local police stations, medical facilities, and trusted friends or family members.
  • 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.
  • Maintain caution and drive responsibly at crowded areas.
  • MitKat advises against wearing expensive jewellery 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.
  • Exercise caution around open flames during Holika Dahan (religious event involving bonfire) and ensure the use of designated fire pits or controlled areas to minimise the risk of fire outbreak.


  • 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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