IN MARCH 2013 I TRAVELLED to Jaipur, India to see the festival of colors known as Holi. The festival occurs every year in late March, the exact days vary every year according to the lunar calendar.
On the day of the festival, I woke up early and made my way to the center of the old city. Since it was a holiday, the stores were closed and the streets were relatively empty. As I walked closer to the center I encountered groups of people that were celebrating Holi, most were covered in brightly colored powder (usually dyed cornstarch). The atmosphere was festive and playful, people were drinking and spending time with their friends and families.
Many of the people I encountered threw colored powder on me, wished me “Happy Holi” and welcomed me to join their festivities. I took portraits as I walked the streets, becoming more colorful as I ventured deeper into the city. At the center was an outdoor dance festival. A color haze filled the air and colored dye blanketed the streets. Hued figures danced and celebrated to the music. There was so much colored dust I was worried it might get inside of my camera and damage the optics. I had purchased a plastic sheath to protect my camera but forgot it in the hotel. Fortunately, my camera wasn’t damaged and I was able to take some nice photos of the event.
I returned to my hotel in the afternoon and began the cleanup process. No one told me the colored powder can permanently dye light colored hair, and even after multiple shampooings, my normally blonde hair had permanent pink streaks. The festival was a great experience and is something I look forward to seeing again.