Being in India for the Holi festival of colors has been on my bucket list since the day I saw the colorful, chaotic images of people throwing colored powder on each other. As I was gushing to a friend she commented, “I can see you there- you are colorful and crazy!” True people. True. And I was there!!
Admittedly the town (Bundi) we were in for Holi was not the massive crowds and chaos that I expected and I actually am grateful after hearing stories of some unsavory-ish behavior that can go down in those big crowds. It was just my speed and I was able to capture a bit of the celebrating. I actually consider it a miracle I have ANY good images from the day because my camera (actually a friend’s camera I was borrowing and protecting with my life) was completely enclosed in a plastic rain sleeve thingy (yes, I believe that is the professional word for it). You can see some of my images of the celebrations here.
Some fellow photographers on the trip shared these images with me. This is Narendra who was our guide and later invited us to his home village. It was an awesome day; you can see the images and read the stories here.
Walking around the streets people just come up and say “Happy Holi” and smear color on your face and hair. The holiday is also an excuse for little kids to run amok with squirt guns and powder (think Halloween but way less parental supervision:) and adults to celebrate together. India is so colorful and this festival just seems to fit perfectly.
Love this image I made of our leader Mitchell- you can check out his work here. I learned so much from him and the others on the trip.
The Holi aftermath
My favorite memory of Holi was dancing and celebrating at a small gathering at a home near where we stayed. We heard the gathering and went over to peek and were invited in. There was dancing and prayers and what I can only describe as a chaos of colors celebration. Lisa made this image of me in on the dancing because seriously where else would I be? Being invited to share in a cultural celebrations is a gift that should never be wasted or taken for granted. It was a privilege to celebrate Holi with the people of India. And if you come over I may just smear color on your face and yell “Happy Holi!!” Hey, don’t say I did not warn you!