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Travel India Festivals Holi Barsana

Holi in the Lord’s playground

Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated with much enthusiasm in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun, which usually corresponds to March on the Julian calendar. It marks the arrival of spring and the bright colours represent energy, life and joy.

In Mathura, birthplace of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan, the Lord’s playground, this day is celebrated with a special puja. Amid the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, the festival lasts for 16 days. All over the Braj region and nearby places like Hathras, Aligarh and Agra, Holi is celebrated in more or less same way as in Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana. Holi is spread over 16 days in Nandgaon, Barsana, Govardhan, Vrindavan and Mathura – these are the cities with which Lord Krishna shared a deep affiliation. Apart from the usual fun with coloured powder and water, Holi is marked by vibrant processions accompanied by folk songs, dances and a general sense of vitality. These photographs share the mood of Holi.

Rahul Karan is a freelance photographer working in India. His work has appeared in national and international magazines. He recently exhibited at the Format International Photography Festival in Derby, England. Follow his work on Flickr and Facebook