An inviting spread of colors, packets of deflated balloons which is waiting to be filled with water, plastic water guns, and sweets of all imaginable kinds lined up in shops are a common sight every year as we approach Holi, the Festival of Colours. The festival is celebrated in every corner of the country, but the way of celebration varies throughout. Holi is often used in symbolism related to India. India is a land of infinite cultures and races coexisting peacefully in an ecosystem. Holi, with its myriads of colors, represents this ecosystem and each color denotes a different culture prevalent in India and the mixture of all these make Holi and the country what they are.
The most boisterous of Hindu festivals, Holi waves goodbye to winter and welcomes in spring in a rainbow of colours. In India it’s predominantly celebrated in the north of the country, and is quite rightly known as the Festival of Colours for the raucous events on Holi’s final day, when children and adults take to the streets throwing colourful gulal (powder) over each other. Dyed water is shot from syringes, thrown from buckets and poured into balloons, which are then tossed at people.
Barsana and Vrindavan, places in Uttar Pradesh, India lie in the area popularly known as Vraj, which consists of four towns, Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, and Barsana. Popularly played with synthetic colors, Holi is celebrated in a considerably different, and contrasting, ways in Barsana and Vrindavan.
Barsana is famous for its Lathmar Holi. As it might be apparent from the name, it is celebrated with thick sticks or Laths. The women from Barsana hit the men from Nandgaon village and they are given shields to protect themselves.
On the other hand, in the neighboring village of Vrindavan Holi is played by showering flower petals along with dry and wet colors. The week-long celebration takes place in front of and around the Banke Bihari temple. The sculpture of Banke Bihari is placed outside the temple for the people believe Lord Krishna himself plays Holi with them.
Images are a simple story of my two day journey to these places.