Cheekwood Estate & Gardens Celebrates Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors

3rd annual event highlights Indian culture through traditions, food and dance.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vibrant sights, sounds, and colors will fill the grounds at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens for Holi, the dynamic Indian “Festival of Spring” and the “Festival of Colors.”

The festivities on March 23, 2024, will feature hands-on activities for all ages, tasty fare from local food vendors, and live music and dance performances.  Guests will have the chance to celebrate the arrival of Spring while getting custom Henna tattoos and participating in color throwing traditions.  The event will occur with a backdrop of thousands of blooming bulbs, as Cheekwood in Bloom: Belles Fleurs continues.

"As we celebrate the vibrant festival of colors, Holi, we are thrilled to host this joyous occasion at Cheekwood,” said Sam Patel, Chair of the Cheekwood Indian Advisory Committee, and a member of the Cheekwood Board of Trustees.  “With its picturesque surroundings and welcoming atmosphere, Cheekwood provides the perfect setting to immerse in the spirit of unity, love, and the triumph of good over evil that Holi embodies. We invite everyone to join us in this celebration of culture, community, and shared happiness."

Schedule of Events - Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Hands on Activities
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. – Arts & Goods Vendors Open
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Food Vendors Open
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – DJ Performance
10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. – Dance Performances
10:45 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m. – Color Throwing


Color Throwing

Brightly colored powders called gulal are thrown in celebration.  Every color represents something in Indian culture ranging from love to health to the sun.  Color packets are included in the price of admission.  The color powder is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.  Most of the color powder will shake or wash off, but it may discolor clothes.  Please note no entry to the mansion is permitted after a guest has participated in color throwing.


The art of Henna has been practiced in Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Middle East for over 5,000 years. The leaves of the henna plant are dried, crushed into a fine powder, and made into a creamy paste which is applied to the skin.  Guests will have the opportunity to watch a Henna artist create custom designs and get temporary tattoos.

Celebrate Peacocks

A new activity added to this year’s festival will allow guests to learn about the significance of the peacock in Indian culture and create their own peacock out of paper. The peacock has played a pivotal role in Indian tradition and was named the National Bird of India in 1963.  The bird is a symbol of royalty, watchfulness, and protection and often appears in architecture, jewelry, and painting.

Decorate a Sari or Kurta Pajama

Traditional Indian clothing includes a Sari, a dress worn by women, and a Kurta Pajama, which is a loose-fitting shirt and pants worn by men.  Visitors will have a chance to design and decorate their own Sari or Kurta Pajama on paper.


Holi will feature traditional Indian food from local food trucks.  Clothing, jewelry and art will also be available for purchase from local business owners.

Holi will be held rain or shine.  All activities are included with membership or general admission.  Holi is sponsored by Nissan, supported by Asurion, and funded by Cumberland Trust. To purchase tickets, visit

Middle Tennessee Daffodil Show at Cheekwood

Also on March 23 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and continuing on March 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Middle Tennessee Daffodil Society (MTDS) will host the annual Middle Tennessee Daffodil Show at Cheekwood. The show features divisions for horticulture, photography, floral design, as well as children’s activities.

The show is held in the Massey Auditorium of Botanic Hall and is open to the public with a ticket to the gardens or gardens + mansion access.

Cheekwood in Bloom

The 12th annual Cheekwood in Bloom: Belles Fleurs continues until April 14. Impressions of France are brought to life with 250,000 colorful blooming bulbs. Traverse along parterre-inspired gardens, capture a photo of a replica of the Eiffel Tower, and complete your journey by viewing works of art by Edgar Degas inside the museum galleries.

About Cheekwood

With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and art museum with furnished period rooms and permanent collection galleries devoted to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries. The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest, and Holiday LIGHTS. Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and, in 2021 was recognized by Fodors as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season. Visit for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.