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The Holi festival

The Holi festival

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1800

Shelfmark: Add.Or.1966

Item number: 1966

Length: 34.9

Width: 43.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Water-colour drawing of the Holi festival, by an anonymous artist working in the Lucknow style, dated c. 1800.

Holi is a very colorful 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. In this view, a man who is garlanded and crowned with shoes is being carried on a reversed charpoy by a dancing and singing crowd, accompanied by drums. A man in the foreground gathers dust to throw at him and a broom, in place of a peacock-feather fan, is waved behind him. Some members of the crowd wield swords and an ascetic carries a bowl of fire. In the background is a gateway and a crenellated wall.

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