The festival is about equality; colored powder breaks down barriers between people. For centuries, the festival has marked the spring equinox. Anthropologist Anne-Sylvie Malbrancke will attend Holi with Bhagwan, a Dalit street vendor.
Indian Caste System (04:20)
Brahmins are the higher class in society and have sought after jobs. Bhagwan and other Dalits are confined to trades. Malbrancke visits Bhagwan's home and makes Holi pastries with his wife. Bhagwan says all discrimination disappears at Holi.
Color Powders (02:40)
Bhagwan takes Malbrancke to buy powders and explains their significance. Holi honors the Hindu gods Krishna and Radha.
Malbrancke meets Sanjay, a Brahmin priest, as he prepares for Holi. Bhang is a traditional drink for Brahmins; prayers to Krishna and Radha follow consumption.
Start of Holi (03:42)
Bhagwan’s wife Ludmila helps everyone prepare for the start of Holi celebrations. They bring offerings of cow dung to put in the purifying fires. Attendees take embers to purify their homes.
First Day of Holi (02:38)
Powder is placed on the foreheads and feet of elders to show respect. Malbrancke goes into the streets with Bhagwan, where strangers cover each other in powder. She sees the festival as a digression that helps preserve the social order.
Holi and Love (06:23)
Malbrancke attends a temple celebration for the widows of the region. Widows can reclaim their place in society and celebrate during Holi. Holi allows everyone to celebrate together.
Credits: "ndia: Festival of Color (00:24)
Credits: India: Festival of Color
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