As many Western nations struggle to return to the vibrancy of pre-winter life, spring is ushered in across the Hindu world. Holi, the Hindu festival of color and love was celebrated over this weekend and into Monday.
Beginning with an evening bonfire on the full moon in March, festival goers sing and dance into the night. The next day is filled with colored paints and waters, thrown freely at strangers and friends alike. Celebrated as the triumph of good over evil, in India Holi is also traditionally a time when strictly separated castes can interact freely.
While India and Nepal are the most widely-known for their Holi celebrations, the festival has spread westward into Europe and the U.S. as well. Festivals vary by location, with traditions — mythological and otherwise — influencing how regions and villages celebrate. In Barsana, northern India, women playfully hit men from the nearby village of Nandgaon with wooden sticks as they parade through the town.
The Guardian reports that Google’s India homepage features an exclusive Holi doodle and, in a statement on the nation’s government website, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh wrote: “May the festival bring health, happiness and prosperity to all.”
Below are fifteen photos of Holi festivites in India.