The streets of Baldev, India, are filled with people: young, old, rich, poor, male, female. They shout, laugh, and chase one another with buckets of tinted water and handfuls of fluorescent powder. This is Holi, the “Festival of Colors,” a celebration of spring that brightens up Hindu communities across India and around the globe. Holi begins with full-moon bonfires and continues with a color fight the next day. Through the neon haze, revelers dance and sing to folk songs, shedding inhibitions as they’re blasted with each new shade. Once exhaustion hits, people wash their colors away. But traces remain—in the dimples of a smile or the wrinkles of an eye.

(Published in the March/April 2012 issue of AFAR)

Holi, India, AFAR, Serena Renner