How to Make Your Holi Celebration Sensory-Friendly

What is Holi?

The celebration of Holi is one of the most commonly celebrated festivals in India. Holi is a social, cultural, and religious festival. It is commonly known as the festival of colours. However, it is also a celebration of love and belongingness. For example, it includes a ritual to burn your bad times or bad memories and to start fresh. One of the main parts of the Holi celebration is to apply colour powder and water to one another. Even though Holi originated in India, today, Holi is celebrated by Hindus across the globe. Furthermore, a sensory-friendly Holi helps to include more people in the celebration.

Smiling person putting colour powder on another person's cheeks during sensory-friendly Holi celebration.

Why is it important to have a Sensory-Friendly Holi celebration?

Even though Holi is a fun celebration for many people, it can be challenging for people who experience sensory sensitivity, sensory overload, autism or sensory processing disorders. It is important to ensure sensory-friendly environments to make it easy for more people to enjoy and feel comfortable. For instance, sensory-friendly environments help people with different sensory differences participate. Everyone is unique. Therefore, everyone has different sensory preferences. Moreover, they make it less stressful needs for families and caregivers, too.

Learn how to create a sensory-friendly Holi celebration, be more accessible and inclusive and you ensure everyone can enjoy and engage in ways that are comfortable for them.

Ways to make your Holi celebration Sensory-Friendly

Infographic highlighting 4 ways to create a sensory-friendly Holi celebration.

Provide a sensory-friendly environment

Since Holi can be a busy, noisy, bright and messy celebration, take the following steps to make it sensory-friendly.

  • Lower volume of music
  • Minimize the clutter of decorations.
  • Use unscented colour powder.
  • Avoid popping water balloons.
  • Have accessible toilets.

offer a chill-Zone

Having a chill-zone will help people take a small break when needed. That way they can continue to celebrate for a longer time. Chill-zones help reduce stress levels. Furthermore they allow people with sensory processing disorder to take a quick break when needed. Finally, chill zones encourage people to be open about what they need, like taking a break. Here are tips to include in a chill zone to make it accessible:

  • Signs leading to the chill-zone area.
  • Calm and soothing music for individual use.
  • Provide noise-cancelling earmuffs.
  • Calming activities such as yoga.
  • Sensory-friendly toys such as fidgets.
  • An open-minded person, will to chat with chill zone visitors if needed.
  • Dim lights.
  • Weighted lap pads.
  • Comfortable seating with chair balls to the feet of the chairs.
  • Accessible toilets nearby.

Educate everyone Before the Celebration

Promote the celebration as sensory-friendly event. Many people are not aware of sensory overload. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the community is aware of ways to help people with sensory sensitivities feel included. Furthermore, let everyone know about the changes will help them get used to the changes in the schedule prior to the celebration. Tell people what to expect in great detail.

Have Trained Staff Onsite

There are many people who have additional training to work with people who have disabilities or differences. Therefore, have trained staff on hand. It is also a good idea for the staff to have sensory tools to loan or give away to children, for example.

In conclusion, having all these measures in place will help you have a sensory-friendly Holi celebration!

Are you interested in gaining more knowledge on ways to adapt celebrations to be more sensory-friendly? Check out:

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