India will celebrate Holi, the festival of colors, on Wednesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 21, with widespread business and transportation disruptions expected across the country. Festivities begin on Wednesday evening (local time), with religious gatherings, prayers, and the burning of pyres. The following morning, revelers will celebrate by throwing colored dyes, paint, and water. March 21 is also celebrated as a public holiday. Significant business and transportation disruptions are expected. High levels of tourism are also likely, along with limited hotel vacancies and higher rates of petty crime.
Some cities, notably Mathura and Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh state), host longer celebrations. On Wednesday, March 6, an Uttar Pradesh state official announced that festivities would be officially held in Mathura from Thursday, March 14, to Tuesday, March 26. As in other cities, business and transportation disruptions are possible.
Individuals in India are advised to confirm travel and lodging reservations, anticipate significant business and transportation disruptions, remain vigilant for criminal activity and safeguard possessions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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