Holi Festival, Jaipur, India
Jaipur, capital of northwest India’s Rajasthan state, owes its “Pink City” nickname to terra-cotta-hued building facades within the Old City walls. Each spring, a tide of raucous revelers magnifies the Technicolor-like glow during the frenetic city’s Holi celebrations. Heralding the arrival of spring, Holi—the Hindu “Festival of Colors”—is marked throughout India and around the world (beginning March 27 this year). In traveler-friendly Rajasthan—Land of Kings—locals and visitors jubilantly join impromptu and organized color eruptions. Prepare to be doused with brightly tinted powders and scented water. Long-sleeve shirts, pants, and a layer of sun block help minimize skin staining, but count on tossing your clothes at festival’s end. Jaipur ushers in Holi with its annual Elephant Festival March 26. Held at the Jaipur polo grounds, the festivities include elephant polo and tug-of-war matches, as well as a parade of elaborately painted pachyderms. Splurge on a luxury tent at the Oberoi Rajvilas to soak your Holi colors away in a vintage, claw-foot tub.