Festival of Colors

by Daniel Hofmann

Most people know the Holi Festival as a colourful event, so it was a challenge to approach it as a black and white project. I wanted to show that color is only one part of the story and that it really is about the energy instead.

I was in Vrindavan and Mathura to document the festivities. Both cities are strongly connected to the life of Krishna, which is why Holi is very intensely celebrated there. I had to learn that this can be good and bad. Good, because the whole city is smiling at you. Everyone is in a great mood and being a photographer on that day is bliss. Nobody is going to say no when you ask them for a portrait and other people are too busy with celebrating to notice you at all.

On the other hand: a big party comes with a big amount of alcohol and after noon the vibe can drastically change. Big crowds and alcohol are never my favourite combination, so I kept my distance after the clock passed 12 in the afternoon on the 6th of March. It’s the actual day when everyone celebrates Holi. In Mathura and Vrindavan the clocks tick differently though and I could enjoy some festivities on the 4th and 5th. Highlights are the celebration in the Bankee Bihari Temple in Vrindavan and a parade in the streets of Mathura. It was an amazing experience and it is not going to be the last time I will document this festival.