Holi is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the end of winter, and the beginning of spring. The streets fill with people dancing, the sounds of drums and percussion as they cover each other with colourful paints, powders and water.
Holi falls on the full moon of the lunar month called ‘Phalguna’ (20th February to the 21st March). This year Holi was held on March 20th. And we took to Jodhpur, a city in Rajasthan, India, to experience the festival.
The festival is known to be a time when all inhibitions can be thrown out the window. People run raucous on the streets, they shout, scream, sing and dance, releasing all of their energy, like a sort of catharsis before a new beginning. Many people enjoy drinking ‘Bang Lassi’, a drink made from yogurt mixed with cannabis. However the streets can be rough, and often the big crowds of colour fights and dancing circles consist only of men, while the women choose to observe quietly from the side, or enjoy a more personal and private celebration in their home.
Traditionally the festival is celebrated in commemoration of the Lord Krishna and the divine love he shared with Radha. It is said that after Krishna complained to his mother about Radha having a fair skin complexion, in contrast to his dark complexion, his mother then covered Radha’s face in colour. Krishna is also known to play pranks on his followers at the beginning of spring.