THE HOLI SERIES WITH PHOTOGRAPHER SUZIE WEISS
When I visited Barsana in March 2020 to attend the Lathmar Holi festival I thought I knew what to expect. I had travelled in India before and was accustomed to the sights and sounds but nothing could have prepared me for the experience of celebrating Holi !!
The festival recreates the legend linked to the divine couple Radha Krishna. Lord Krishna who was a resident of Nandgaon wanted to spray colours on his beloved Radha and her friends to tease them on the day of Holi. As Krishna and his friends entered Barsana they were playfully greeted by Radha and her friends who drove them out of Barsana by beating them with sticks. Every year men from Nandagaon visit Barsana during the time of Holi and are greeted by women who playfully wield sticks and beat them.
These shots were taken in the Shri Radha Rani temple, the centre of the festival where the men of both Nandagon and Barsana meet. The temple is filled with a sea of people and glorious colour and it is impossible not to be swept up in the joyous chanting and dancing and of course the colour throwing. The temple itself is a magnificent structure with a quadrangle courtyard surrounding it where the crowd gather and a wide balcony that runs around its perimeter. The balcony is the perfect place to retreat from the craziness and an opportunity to appreciate the size and scale of the festivities taking place below.
Photographing Holi celebrations is not easy – the scenes playing out are fast-moving and the coloured powders and liquid dyes are not great for camera gear but with some preparation and camera protection, it can be done and is really one of the great photographic challenges.
I am a travel photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. I have been photographing anything and everything for over 30 years but am the happiest travelling and experiencing and shooting diverse cultures. I particularly love candid street portraiture and connecting with my subjects.
Instagram – @suzieweiss
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