It was the first of many days of Holi in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. I came from Pushkar, Rajasthan and would be staying in Vrindvan for 8 days leading up to the big Holi celebration on March 17th, 2014. Holi was on the list of things to do long before I ever bought a plane ticket to India. Now here I was ready to sing, dance, and celebrate with colors. And of course document the hell out of my time!
What is Holi?
I could google it for you, spin what I find, and write you a report about Holi in this region. I could tell you about Krishna and how he wanted fairer skin. I could tell you about the pranks he played in Barsana. I could tell you how the girls chased him away with sticks back to Nandgaon and how this is played out again and again every year leading up this colorful holiday. I could tell you about the changing of seasons and all that jazz, but you’d miss the point, so I won’t bother wasting my time.
I know this because when everyone asked if I knew what Holi was about, they laughed at me when I tried to flex my knowledge of Indian culture. “None of that is what Holi is about,” they’d tell me.
Holi is about love!
And that’s exactly what I saw; love. I could see it in the eyes of the children playing in the streets. I could hear it in the chanting filling the temple. I could feel it in the hands rubbing powder on my head, my face, and of course my beard. I could feel it in my heart as I pressed it against the embrace of so many random Indian friends.
Love was in the air and I understood exactly why in some villages they begin celebrating 40 days before Holi.
All you need to know about Holi you will see in my photos. Over the next week I will be attending Holi celebrations in the major temples of Vrindavan and experiening all of this craziness until the end. Afterwards I will compile all of the video footage into something worth presenting and you’ll find it here. If you like what you see below and want to see more, I encourage you to subscribe to my email list so you can be notified of the follow up posts.