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A Striking Video Portrait of India's Holi Festival

Manoj Raj traveled to the “birthplace of Lord Krishna” to capture his subjects.
Screencaps via

The Hindu tradition of a springtime festival of color, better known by its Sanskrit moniker, Holi, has been captured on video by New Delhi-based artist Manoj Raj. To take part in the two-day celebration, Raj traveled to the northern state of Mathura, a place which, according to the artist, is “the birthplace of Lord Krishna, where Holi is celebrated in the most wild… with sticks, shields, colors, flowers, and cannons of water.” Raj captures joyful portraiture of Mathura residents celebrating the vibrancy of spring and the delight of a tradition that celebrates the beauty of the season.


The Indian and Nepalese tradition has, in past years, been appropriated in American culture, typically by ill-conceived college parties and harrowing “Color Runs." So, for our American contingency of readers, enjoying videos like this by local Indian-artists and learning more about the complete tradition of Holi in the process is perhaps a better place to start. Check out Portrait of Colours below:

Portrait of Colours from Manoj Rai on Vimeo.

See more of Manoj Raj’s work on his Vimeo page here.


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