Updated: Dec 10, 2019

A Complete Guide for Photographers celebrating the Festival of Colours in India!

Crazy, colourful, and simply unforgettable - The Festival of Colors in Uttar Pradesh.

Discover the secrets behind the seven-day Holi celebration, held in one of the most remote places in India!

With this guide, you will be able to create magnificent shots and see more than everyone else ever could.

Best Holi Photography Guide 2020, India

What To Expect in This Guide:

- Background Information About The Reason Behind Holi

- All Dates And Places

- Top Insights

- Useful Tips

Holi Photography Tour 2020

1. The Legend

To understand why the Holi celebration in UP is so unique, I have to travel back a few millennia to the time when the Holi first started: The "Holi" Festival is now famous all over the world. However, its origins stem from two different tales out of Hindu-mythology.

- The first tale explains the tradition of colouring each other playfully with powder (gulal), paint, and petals.

- The second tale explains the word "Holi".

Holi Photography Guide 2020, all places, dates and top tips!

Throwing colourful powder at others originates from the legend of Lord Krishna" and his beloved "Radha" - It talks about love and the fear of losing it.

The Hindu God ‘Krishna’ (from Nandgaon) fell in love with a young woman, Radha (from Barsana). Krishna had much darker skin than Radha, but this did not hinder their love for each other first.

However, people started making fun of Krishna’s skin colour. Driven by a fear that Radha would leave him, Krishna went to his wise mother to find a solution. She suggested him to colour everyone playfully so as to hide their real skin-complexion - when everyone is colorful, there are no more differences between the people - no one can exclude or mock the other anymore because of his/her skin colour.

And so it happened that over the years, Krishna would travel every spring from his village to Radha’s and colour Radha, her friends and all the village people with gulal (colour powder), so says the legend.

As the tradition evolved, men from Nandgaon still travel to Barsana to drench the women in colour, who in turn playfully beat them with bamboo sticks, thus also called "Lathmar Holi".

Lathmar Holi, Barsana, Best Holi Photography Guide 2020 India

The second tale explains the origin of the word "Holi", which can be translated as the expression "to burn".

Once upon a time, the mean and jealous demon god "Hiranyakashyap" wanted to kill his own son "Prahlad," as he turned to another god. Hiranyakashyap ordered his sister "Holika" to step into a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap because she had the gift of resisting fire. But, as Holika went into the fire, she burned in place of Prahlad, her powers no longer worked, and she paid the price for her sinister collusion. Prahlad himself was saved by the grace of his God for his extreme devotion.