Watch a Vintage Video That Captures the Exuberance of India's Holi

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Thu March 01, 2018 | 12:10 PM

We don't like to play favorites here at Fest300, but we can't help but be utterly hyped for the commencement of Holi , a rainbow battlefield that explodes across India, Nepal and Sri Lanka today. It's an exuberant celebration of the last lunar cycle of the winter – meaning the doors have officially been flung open for spring.

So, what's the deal with this holy maelstrom of hues? Throngs of celebrants gleefully hurl every imaginable type of brightly colored dye in the form of powder, liquid and water balloons at each other, like a war dreamt up by painter Jackson Pollock. No one is safe from getting hit. It's all inspired by the Hindi legend of Radhu and Krishna found in a 7th-century Sanskrit manuscript. Krishna was believed to have been unhappy with the color of his dark skin compared to Radhu’s fair complexion, so his mother evened out the balance by having Krishna apply beautiful colors to Radhu’s face.

The video above is a scene from the 1975 Bollywood classic Sholay , and charmingly captures the freewheeling spirit of this festival of colors.