The extraordinary photographs of Jonathan Watts allow us to witness the richness of the Hindu rituals in Kerala and mirror perfectly the diversity of the peoples and customs of this colourful southern Indian state. The contrasts of light and dark, of good and evil, of beauty and ugliness, of fire and water and that of high or low castes attending these rituals reflect the delicate balance between a modern and traditional world and the earthly and spiritual needs of a culture in permanent evolution. The annual temple festivals help to consolidate village society by reponding to collective as well as individual concerns such as plentiful harvests, the danger of epidemics or more personal financial or fertility problems. All the photographs were taken during ethnographic field missions and with the help of a local friend who introduced Watts to these annual ceremonies when upper and lower castes mingle. During these moments of great celebration and joy the villagers, encompassed by music and dance, make-up and colourful costumes, offerings and blessings, communicate directly with their gods.