Stunning Photos Of Holi, The Hindu Festival Of colours

People celebrating Holi in India

The Hindu festival of Holi, also referred to as the festival of colours, celebrates the arrival of spring and is associated with the legend of Holika.

In India, Holi is marked by a national holiday, and rightly so. Anyone who ventures out of their home can expect to be smeared in coloured powder, sprayed with coloured water from pichkaris (water guns), and pelted with water balloons and even eggs.

The Holi festival officially starts tomorrow, but people tend to celebrate all over India — and the world — throughout the week.

Holi has over time arguably become one of the most permissive Hindu festivals, with revelers openly consuming bhang (a beverage concocted from milk and cannabis leaves).

We put together some images of the colourful festival being celebrated in India and around the world.

coloured powders natural and synthetic are sold in markets ahead of Holi.

A worker dries coloured powder for Holi in Gurgaon, India.

Lathimar Holi takes place days before the actual Holi celebration at Barsana, Uttar Pradesh, India. The festivity enacts Hindu Lord Krishna's visit to Radha's village.

Hindu mythology says Krishna teased Radha and her friends, who chased him out of their village. Now, residents of Barsana re-enact the scene with sticks and shields.

Smeared with colour, people dance and play at the Nandagram temple in Nandgaon, about 75 miles from New Delhi.

A snake charmer smeared with coloured powder dances on a boat.

A Hindu devotee is covered in red powder at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, India.

Puffs of pink and yellow powder that resemble napalm float through the air.

Hindu devotees play with coloured powders at the Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, India.

Boys spray coloured foam near the Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan.

The easiest way to spray colour is with a water gun.

Indian widows throw flowers during Holi celebrations at the Meera Sahbhagini Ashram in Vrindavan.

A man chugs bhang, a drink made of milk and cannabis, during Holi.

Indians perform rituals around a bonfire in Ahmadabad, India.

Students from Allahabad University smear coloured powder on each other to celebrate Holi in Allahabad, India.

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