Krishna celebrating the Holi Festival with a crowd of milk-maids in a courtyard under red canopy
Artist: Hulas Lal (c.1785-c.1875)
Watercolour drawing of Krishna celebrating the Holi festival, by Hulas Lal (c.1785-1875), working in the Patna style, c.1830.
Holi is a very colourful Hindu festival celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March). During the celebrations participants jump over bonfires the preceding night and on the day itself they throw coloured water and powder at each other. The festival has ancient origins and in some parts of North India it is associated with stories of Krishna and the gopis (milkmaids), and his love for Radha. As a cowherd Krishna is often depicted with the gopis and with Radha, his favorite. In this drawing, Krishna is seen on a courtyard under a red canopy, surrounded by a lively bunch of gopis who are enjoying the festival.