Eye Candy

The Coming of Spring

Photos from Holi Festival.


  • missblack April 4th, 2012 11:06 PM

    I want to participate in this holiday SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad!!!


  • janeeyre April 4th, 2012 11:09 PM


    here in buenos aires, at my school it was tradition to celebrate the last day of class every year with a great party in the street in front of the school dancing to really loud music and throwing each other paint, we called it “la fiesta de la pintura” (the paint party or something).

    i’ve gone all nostalgic now…

  • meanjellybeans April 4th, 2012 11:18 PM

    I love this! The school I’m going to next year (UNC) does a big event for Holi each year (Holi Moli, Holi Cow, Holi etc). I can’t wait, this looks really cool. 6, 9, and 12 are my favorites.

  • Anna F. April 4th, 2012 11:27 PM

    Aaaah! So fun! I remember visiting family in Chandigarh as a kid during Holi and it was one the most exciting moments of my life. The pictures where everybody is running around and smiling are my favourite.

  • rebecca April 4th, 2012 11:35 PM

    a lot of these faces remind me of the description in the bell jar of esther’s face after she tries to kill herself: “One side of the person’s face was purple, and bulged out in shapeless way, shading to green along then edges, then to a sallow yellow. The person’s mouth was pale brown, with a rose-colored sore at either corner. The most startling thing about the face was its supernatural conglomeration of bright colors.”
    eerie, man. i dig.

  • Ben April 5th, 2012 12:00 AM

    Holi is my favorite holiday ever! I really want to experience it! Those pictures are lovely!


  • deuxiemesexe April 5th, 2012 12:05 AM

    Holi <3
    It's just me or the guy from photo 9 looks a bit like Alex from Blur?

  • Adrienne April 5th, 2012 12:30 AM

    This is so amazing. I love all the colors. Gah why can’t we have those kind of holidays here?
    Just wondering, what happens if you happen to swallow in the colorful powders? Is it poisonous? :P


  • whoopingcrane April 5th, 2012 12:31 AM

    i’m sorry to be a downer on these lovely photos (they are lovely) but as a person of indian descent and a self-identified hindu, i guess i find them a little appropriative. especially with the random assortment of hindu deities juxtaposed against the actual holi images…
    something to think about.

    • anton April 5th, 2012 1:36 AM

      I do agree with you. Holi is a pretty fun festival but the random use of Hindu deities like Ganesha and Durga could be considered a little inappropriate.

    • gato April 5th, 2012 2:11 AM

      i couldnt’ help but think the same thing seeing this pictures. it feels fake that none of the people depicted are on indian descent. i understand that art can take inspiration from different concepts and contexts, but this feels as if it aimed to be more like a depiction of the festivity it is talking about… which makes the style out of place.

      • Killjoy April 5th, 2012 10:28 AM

        I agree with you. None of the people in the pictures are of Indian descent. Not cool.

    • Ellie April 5th, 2012 3:09 AM

      I agree. I am not of Indian descent, but I find this post to be wildly inappropriate. I kept expecting someone Indian as the main people in the photographs, but it didn’t look that way. This is quite simply cultural appropriation. You cannot just borrow someone’s culture because it’s pretty and then defend it by saying it’s a less religious Hindu holiday. I expected better from Rookie.

    • MissKnowItAll April 5th, 2012 6:10 AM

      Yeah. It seemed a little innappropriate to add in picture of Maha Ganapati and Durga and Shiva opposed to actual pictures of the meaning of Holi.

    • AnguaMarten April 5th, 2012 7:04 AM

      i was just thinking this. nothing wrong with white or black kids celebrating holi–i live in a heavily hindu area, and it happens all the time–but seriously, where are the indian kids? i’m really uncomfortable with using other cultures for a solely aesthetic purpose, especially when it’s not done with utmost respect. it’s a beautiful festival and a beautiful religion, but these things also have real significance to many people, who are not represented in these photos (as far as i can tell). i love rookie but i really wish there was more race diversity (having a token black person isn’t enough) and, come to think of it, way more size diversity. you have problems with racism and unhealthy body image in the media? guess what, y’all have the power to do something about it. and dear god, please stop with the appropriation. it’s perfectly possible to take influence and inspiration from other cultures respectfully, but i don’t see that here–i see white kids deciding that holi and hinduism are aesthetically pleasing, but minus all the, you know, hindus.

      still love you, rookie, but please no more offensive cultural appropriation.

    • Sugar April 5th, 2012 6:59 PM

      I was thinking this too!!

      My first thought after finishing the slide show was “Uhh, Where the desi’s at?”


    • weepygonzales April 6th, 2012 2:07 PM

      Yeah, I agree, this kind of rubbed me in the wrong way

      • callie April 6th, 2012 2:33 PM

        kinda late and probz no-one will read this but heres my 2 cents. I actually……kinda see no problem at all with cultural appropriation. In the same way that I understand that not everyone (indeed not most people) believe Jesus died for their sins, I also understand that a picture of Jesus can for them be just like a fun decoration or whatever. In fact I think its beautiful and lovely that all our cultures are kind of bleeding into each other and people can take inspiration from someplace completely alien to their way of thinking. Why shouldn’t someone who is not Indian (or white, or black, or Korean et ceteraa) be able to take part in the aesthetic side of a celebration?

      • AnguaMarten April 7th, 2012 9:15 PM

        callie–the problem isn’t that white people are appreciating the beauty of hindu festivals, it’s that they’re making it all about the white people. it’s inappropriate especially because in this country, hindus are a minority.

  • Allyssa April 5th, 2012 1:38 AM

    Good vibes and good memories from this day. It’s nice to see these photos. I actually don’t think I’ve washed my outfit yet…

  • Shweta April 5th, 2012 2:02 AM

    I love this! I am a Hindu, and i do practice Hinduism, we celebrate holi at my temple!

    • MissKnowItAll April 5th, 2012 6:11 AM

      Lucky!!! My temple won’t do Holi. We do have the Ganesh Chaturti though…

  • TessAnnesley April 5th, 2012 2:44 AM

    oooommmgggggg this collab BE KILLIN ME

    lauren’s collage things, SO GOOD

  • mayaautumn April 5th, 2012 2:48 AM

    because i live in England i have to wait til the morning to read this post…but at least it gets me up! the pics are beautiful ..well, they always are:)


  • Susann April 5th, 2012 3:15 AM

    That looks like fun! The photos perfectly capture the spirit!


  • anisaj April 5th, 2012 3:57 AM

    I love these so much

  • Molly Blues April 5th, 2012 4:30 AM

    amazing! i always wanted to take part in such a beautiful celebration, in Spain we throw out tomatos to each other, it’s not that colourful hahah

  • MissKnowItAll April 5th, 2012 6:07 AM

    YES!!!!!!!!! I’m Hindu and Holi is possibly the best thing ever!!!!! During the Holi festival in India everyone wakes up bright and early and its just beautiful and amazing

  • MissKnowItAll April 5th, 2012 6:12 AM

    Where did you guys take these pictures?

  • ShakespeareRules April 5th, 2012 7:07 AM

    Reminds me of the carnival they have in London in the summer. So many people and a beautiful atmosphere. I love the painted faces too.

  • Minna April 5th, 2012 7:48 AM


  • VintageAddict April 5th, 2012 10:02 AM

    I’m not Hindu, or Indian, but my friend is, and she took me to a Holi Parade and Festival with her and her family. It was SOOOO FUNN! Even though many white people do go to holi festivals, I thought it might be better to also include pictures of people who are Indian. Also, the pictures of Hindu dieties randomly included in the pictures does feel a little appropriative

  • Aislinn April 5th, 2012 1:03 PM

    #3 is breathtaking! This album is amazing, its like the world was a painting for a day. So beautiful…

  • rhetoric April 5th, 2012 1:34 PM

    Oh how fun! Everyone looks like a work of art. Well, even without the fun powder everyone already is :)

  • suze_me April 5th, 2012 1:40 PM

    I am Hindu and live in India, and this time we celebrated Holi like MAD. I had the craziest time, with every SINGLE color in my hair and mom made these delicious drinks and chaat.
    These pictures bring back all the wonderful memories.
    You can just walk up to a stranger and drench them water or cake their face with color, they will just laugh and say ‘happy holi’. Haha, its fun.
    I remember waking up as early as 5 sometimes to oil myself because the neighbors would show up and bombard your house with water and what not.
    The best part is the dhol and all the folk Punjabi dancers that come.
    They bring everything to life.

  • Lauren Poor April 5th, 2012 3:02 PM

    Hey y’all. I agree. I wish that the photos of people in magazines could be more diverse in race and size. When we went to the Holi festival, we weren’t planning on sending the pictures we took there to rookie. My friends and I went together to take part in the festival. I went the year before and right when me and my two other white friends arrived an Indian man came up to us and said that this holiday is meant for people of every color and that we shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. He said that the holiday is in celebration of light, colors and spring and that is all. After that first year I thought back on the holiday as one of the happiest days of my life. I’ve read that a big custom of Holi is the loosening strictness of social structures and I really felt that. I wanted to bring back my friends the next year to enjoy the same feelings. I think about it a lot, the fact that most of my current friends are white. My sister and most of them I’ve come to know through school which is a majority white. These are the people I went to Holi with to welcome spring. I want to make more cross cultural relationships, but I have to admit, working on this has almost moved to a back burner in my life and throughout all of my business and worries, I hate it, but I have spent less time working on this. In my recent photos though, I have made a point of making them diverse (seriously, not just by adding “a token black person”) and in my future projects this factor is all I think about. I wish the pictures looked different in that way, but those are my friends and we went to Holi to enjoy the things it celebrates. In going, we also learned about and became interested in Hindu culture. We went to stores and I learned about different items that are present in Hinduism. That exposure to Hindu culture is why we’ve included depictions of various gods with our photographs, I can see how that might seem offensive and I’m sorry. It is not with complete ignorance that we’ve put our pictures with stickers we bought from Hindu stores, but I guess it might seem that way. Our intentions were good, but the effect may have been bad. I think the photos are more of a documentation of me and my friends, our experience of Holi, and wanting to save memories of a day with people I love and learn more about the culture. I could have taken an entirely different focus, taken pictures of Hindus celebrating, but I felt like I was on a day off and wanted to simply enjoy the holiday with my friends. I’ve taken into account how people feel about these photos though, and now I know and will think differently about how I approach such a situation in the future. Thanks for giving your opinions and helping me become less ignorant. I would say I wish these photos hadn’t gone up and people hadn’t been offended, but I’m glad it’s opened up a discussion.

    • TessAnnesley April 5th, 2012 11:31 PM

      Awesome response Lauren. Thank you for acknowledging that this has caused offense to some people. I’m white too, and the number of times I’ve tried to explain cultural appropriation to another white person ad they’ve just said “OMG you hate multiculturalism I’m just doing cause I like it GOD” and completely missed the point that they are doing disrespectfully is immense. These pictures are still beautiful and free and awesome, but thank you so much acknowledging that even beautiful art like yours can sometimes be (accidentally) appropriative. :)

    • Tara April 6th, 2012 9:02 AM

      I am so glad you replied Lauren. I think you hit the nail on the head! the photographs are beautiful though it’s always a stick situation when a cultural holiday is involved and people outside that culture partake in it, especially when it’s photographed because perception of what the artist was meaning to capture gets skewed. I think you and Mike understand these things though, that you didn’t mean to hurt or harm anyone by portraying Holi. but it is so good that you are able to stand up for your work and create a discussion, as you said.

    • gato April 10th, 2012 12:49 AM

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply. your work is very good and it’s even better that you’re open to critique!

  • ladyjenna April 5th, 2012 7:05 PM

    Loved the pictures, and kudos to Lauren for standing up for your pics! It WOULD have been nice to see some actual hindus but I totally get how these were just meant to be pictures of friends, interested in participating in other cultures.

    Yeah and I do agree, it would be nice to see some “size-diversity”… NOT EVERYONE CAN BE STICK THIN but everyone can be on rookie!

    :) okay bye.

  • caitlinand April 6th, 2012 1:13 AM

    this is so cool! i am turning Hindu for the time being


  • Karoliina April 6th, 2012 11:31 AM

    I just participated this holiday last month! I visited India (Goa) for the first time. The little kids came to us and colored our faces, then we went to the beach to see our new indian friends and they and their friends also colored us! We wished them Happy Holi and they were so happy that tourists participated. :)

  • back2thepast April 7th, 2012 2:44 AM

    People keep talking about how they would have liked to see actual Hindus or Indians BUT READ Lauren’s response! It shows the insight to her meaning of the day and is quite beautiful. I love Holi :)

  • MissKnowItAll April 8th, 2012 8:59 AM

    I really want to send picture of holi and ganesh chaturti from when I was in India. I might just do it.

  • ameowlia April 11th, 2012 5:03 PM

    I have been in India during Holi quite a few times and it is honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!! Everything is happy

  • Besu April 13th, 2012 3:40 AM

    The pictures are beautiful, lovely post!

  • Lez April 13th, 2012 4:30 AM

    Good response, Laura, especially acknowledging the appropriation. Im in India this semester, and it’s hard to define the line between appreciation and appropriation at all times. Your efforts are SOOOO appreciated, as I know I struggle.