After a day of seriously photographing local color, which is hugely significant in Varanasi and India as a whole, we attended an aarti ceremony during which light is offered to deities.
Art is leading a photo workshop in India for two weeks and he’s starting to send back photos! This first batch was taken on the ghats of Varanasi. It is the holiest city in Hinduism and has been a cultural and religious center for thousands of years. A ghat is a set of stairs leading to a holy body of water, in this case, the Ganges. Some are public, some private; some are used for ritual bathing or cremation, while others are used for quotidian uses such as laundry. Whatever the use, they are always a center of colorful display—even the reflections in the water are beautiful!