Festival of Colours

From noon onwards they came. Dressed in white t-shirts, a huge crowd of smiles and laughter descended on London’s iconic Battersea Power Station with only one purpose in mind – to get some colour.

The holi festival of colours is the latest cultural import from India and Nepal. Primarily a religious Hindu festival, it has now also become popular in the west.  To the tune of large sound systems and house DJ’s, festival-goers decorate each other by throwing of brightly coloured paint dust at each other.

This day it was to be blessed by an uncharacteristically hot British summer heat wave. Sunlight bursting through the clouds, the  Holi Festival of Colours was perfectly set for a bright, vibrant display of colour. On the hour, every hour, huge plumes of coloured dust would engulf the crowd cued up by the onstage DJ. Eyes smarting, their pristine white clothing embraced the wind-blown colours of the rainbow. As their colours grew more varied the festival-goers danced on through each and every hourly cloud of colour until the colour-soaked, bombastic finale at 10pm. Energised by the music and fuelled by a day of drinking and dancing, their weary coloured bodies now adorned with all forms of goggles, scarves, umbrellas and other festival wear from nearby shops and stalls, made their journeys home. Covered head to foot in unashamed colour they made an eye-catching site on the buses and trains of London that night.

Mark Esper
August 2013

Status: Syndicated through Polaris Images.
Prints: Selected prints are available for online purchase.
Image Licensing: Polaris Images.

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