Skanda Gautam Reveals the Crimson Revelry of Nepal’s Sindoor Festival

All images by Skanda Gautam. Used with Creative Commons permission.

When it comes to the most visually stunning and vibrant festivals of Nepal, we can trust Kathmandu-based photojournalist Skanda Gautam to deliver some of the best photos. Aside from bringing our attention to the most pressing issues of the country, he has also showcased some of the Nepalese festivals and cultural events that every travel and documentary photographer shouldn’t miss when in the country. We’re adding to the pile the Sindoor Festival, which he encapsulates in a series called Red Dawn.

Shot in the same documentary style that we’ve seen in Gautam’s previous works, Red Dawn shows us the revelry of the Sindoor Festival, or the Sindoor Jatra Festival, held just in April this year at Thimi in Bhaktapur. Nepalese revelers, he said, play traditional drums and music, and smear colors on each other as they parade around the ancient city. They also carry chariots of Hindu gods and goddesses as part of celebrations commencing Nepalese New Year.

The series may be short, but as the title suggests, the scenes are indeed festive and full of life. The energy is heightened by the fiery vermilion powder that attendees throw at each other. All these are brought to our attention by the immersive perspectives that Gautam always provides with his work to give us a good idea of what it’s like to be there. That said, Red Dawn is another inspiring collection of snaps that tell us not only what happens in such a cultural festivity, but also of the experiences we can expect when we choose to bear witness to its spectacle.

So, the next time you’re in Nepal, or if you still have the country on your bucket list, you may want to time your visit during a colorful community celebration.

Curious about the other festivities that await you in Nepal? Do check out Skanda Gautam’s Behance portfolio to see the rest of his work.