‘Festival of colours’: Hindus celebrate Holi

Millions of Hindus across India and other South Asian nations mark the onset of spring with colours, songs and dancing.

People covered in coloured powder dance as they celebrate Holi during a traditional gathering at a temple in Nandgaon village in India's Uttar Pradesh state. [Noemi Cassanelli/AFP]

People covered in coloured powder dance as they celebrate Holi during a traditional gathering at a temple in Nandgaon village in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. [Noemi Cassanelli/AFP]

Millions of Hindus across India and other South Asian countries are celebrating Holi – the festival of colours – to mark the arrival of spring.

Celebrants daub themselves in brightly coloured powder, or gulal, to celebrate the victory of good over evil, fertility and love.

The festival, observed for centuries, holds mythological importance. It is also associated with the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha.

People from all classes and age groups come together during the festival to play with colours, dance and sing, and distribute sweets.

A Nepali woman covered in coloured powder during Holi celebrations in Kathmandu. Nisha Bhandari/AFP]

A Nepali woman covered in coloured powder during Holi celebrations in Kathmandu. Nisha Bhandari/AFP]

A Nepali man throws coloured powder, or gulal, during celebrations in Patan, Nepal. [Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo]

A Nepali man throws coloured powder, or gulal, during celebrations in Patan, Nepal. [Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo]

A college student at the Holi festival celebrations in Bhopal. Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month. [Sanjeev Gupta/EPA-EFE]

A college student at the Holi festival celebrations in Bhopal. Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month. [Sanjeev Gupta/EPA-EFE]

Indian children living with cerebral palsy take part in Holi celebrations at an event organized by the Trishla Foundation in Allahabad. [Sanjay Kanojia/AFP]

Indian children living with cerebral palsy take part in Holi celebrations at an event organized by the Trishla Foundation in Allahabad. [Sanjay Kanojia/AFP]

An Indian street vendor sells gulal coloured powder a day ahead of Holi in Guwahati. [Anupam Nath/AP Photo]

An Indian street vendor sells gulal coloured powder a day ahead of Holi in Guwahati. [Anupam Nath/AP Photo]

People celebrating in Central Park, New Delhi. Holi is celebrated by Hindu devotees around the world by throwing coloured powder, or gulal, at each other. [Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images]

People celebrating in Central Park, New Delhi. Holi is celebrated by Hindu devotees around the world by throwing coloured powder, or gulal, at each other. [Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images]

People from all classes and age groups come together during the festival to play with colours, dance and sing. [Raminder Pal Singh/EPA-EFE]

People from all classes and age groups come together during the festival to play with colours, dance and sing. [Raminder Pal Singh/EPA-EFE]

Holi celebrations inside a temple in Nandgaon village, Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

Holi celebrations inside a temple in Nandgaon village, Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

Holi is also associated with the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha. [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

Holi is also associated with the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha. [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

Celebrations at a temple in the town of Barsana, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. [Altaf Hussain/Reuters]

Celebrations at a temple in the town of Barsana, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. [Altaf Hussain/Reuters]

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