An American Holi Festival: How to Have a Cheap, Fun and Creative Birthday

Introduction: An American Holi Festival: How to Have a Cheap, Fun and Creative Birthday

So, I was cruising along the internet and I found out about a festival that takes place in India called the Holi festival. Basically, this festival entails thousands of people getting colored powders and water and throwing it at each other until everyone is every color of the rainbow.

My birthday was coming up and I decided that this would be a super fun party idea. So, I searched the internet everywhere to find the powdered dyes but they were really expensive and you had to order them from India. That was not going to work as I am a relatively poor college student.

So, I finally decided to have a giant paint war instead, inspired by the Holi festival in India.

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Step 1: Purchase Your Paints

Yes, yes, I know that spending money stinks but this had to be done.

I bought my paints from an art supplier online, make sure to buy cosmetic grade face paint so no one gets rashes or the like, I made sure it was kid friendly and easily washable, you should do the same.

Make note: this cost me about 140 dollars but I had far too much paint. The paint is way to thick, so it is perfectly usable if you water it down a lot! 10-15 tubes could take you far.

Step 2: Setting Up

Find a large open area where the paint war could take place. If you are going to do this in nature, be sure that people are careful with their paints and throw it at people, not on the ground. When we were done, there was very little paint on the ground. What I did was set up a bunch of paper bowls on the ground in a line and poured about half of the paint tube into each bowl, then I poured a little bit of water into the bowl and mixed to make a gooey but not too gooey mixture. To save even more money, you could fill the rest of the paint bottle (there will still be some paint left in the bottle) with water, shake it up, and make a paint water to squirt at each other.

Step 3: Starting the War

To kick things off, we decided to start the war by dividing people into sides and using the line of paint bowls as a border. It was a dodgeball-esque beginning to get the ball rolling, and then it was just a crazy free for all as we continued. Everyone had a ball.

Make sure everyone knows to wear clothes they don't care about and that the face is off limits. Our rule was, "if you go for the face, you better be willing to take care of that person and face the consequences."

Step 4: Finishing Up

After a thorough clean up everyone was exhausted and had a really fun time. I suggest this kind of thing for a teenager who just wants to be a kid and get crazy and messy for a couple of hours, This was my 19th birthday, but we all loved it.

Step 5: Cleaning Yourself

Cleaning yourself is crucial. Your going to have to take a shower and be willing to scrub a little bit. The red tinted colors may leave a slight tint on your skin, but it is nothing that won't wash off with a few showers. If you don't want this, I suggest blues, greens, and yellows but you are still going to have to scrub. It is paint, after all.

Hope this inspires some fun times!

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    4 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It's also usable in thick form straight from the bottle: just have the participants squirt each other with the paint bottles.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    used a similar idea for little kids....I took a lot of fruit loops cereal (generic brand) and sorted them by color and crushed them up really fine. I let the kids go at it and then (on a very clean floor) let them eat the powder was a HUGE hit!