Posts tagged ‘festival’

March 26, 2014

2014 Holi – Festival of Colors – A Photo Essay

Holi2014Holi is probably one the most enchanting of the festivals originating from India. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month. It has pretty much moved all around the world, across cultures and was celebrated last weekend. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, marking the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Holi is the time to unwind, de-stress and bond with sweets, Thandai and colors. The celebrations at the Greater Hindu temple of Chicago was equally exuberant, very much like last year (you could also read more about the festival here). Below is the Photo Essay of the event from this year ! Happy Holi !!!

Lot of folks were so open to being photographed and even asked where they can get the shots. If you were one of them feel free to get yours here.

Click here for the full gallery

 

 

The Crowd !!!

 

Colored powder and smiles adorning the festivities

 

Dancing the way around

 

Fellow photographer amidst the crowd , just not sure how the nikon fared ;-)

 

An little girl, face smeared with colored powder, sits on the shoulders of her father getting an apt Vantage point

 

The locals too equally enjoy the celebration

 

Everyone including this kid had lotz of fun

 

After all its all about the colors right !

 

Getting nice shots often depends on the Vantage point you are at, this guy probably got the best one for the day

 

As the sun set, the Holi fire also was lit in front of the temple to start the final prayers

March 31, 2013

2013 Holi @ Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago

Click for the GalleryIt was lot of fun at the Holi Celebrations. I did not expect such a crowd, it took more than an hour just to get the parking and get to the premises.

Apart from the music, dance, Holika Dahan (burning of Holika), food & fun – the colors and the celebration definitely make this a photographer heaven. This was one of my first try, shooting an event. The experience was very different from shooting landscapes. Interacting with people, getting to know about them was not as intimidating as I had thought :)

Lot of folks were so open to being photographed and even asked where they can get the shots. If you were one of them feel free to get yours here.

 

These shots are from 2013 Holi Celebrations at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. These were taken at a public gathering with a good will and understanding. All Photos are copyrighted. NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE. Drop me an email if you would like the original shots for personal use.

Significance of the Celebrations

There are lot of different reasons behind this festival of colors. Though this started off in India, am seeing this cultural celebrations catching up in the major western cities too.

Foremost is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. The legend says there once lived a devil and powerful king, Hiranyakshyap who considered himself a god and wanted everybody to worship him. To his great ire, his son, Prahlad began to worship, Lord Vishnu. To get rid of his son, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. Legend has it that Prahlad was saved for his extreme devotion for the lord while Holika paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the ‘Holika dahan’ comes mainly from this legend.

Holi also celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna which describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying color on Radha and other gopis. This prank of Krishna later, became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.

As with any of the religious traditions, there is always a deep meaning behind these. Holi comes when the season moves from cold (winter) to warm (Spring) . The entire event involves movements that are brisk and music as loud. All of this helps to rejuvenate the human body and makes the transition smooth. People also clean-up their houses on Holi, burning up the old, which helps in clearing up the dust and mess in the house. This is kind of equivalent to the spring cleaning that is prevalent in western culture. A cleaner environment generate more positive energy.

Few Moments from the Celebration

Below are some of my favorite shots from the event. For more check out the gallery.







Link to the complete Gallery

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