Holi 2014: The Festival of Colors

This week Hindus around the world celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colors. Holi is a popular springtime celebration observed on the last full moon of the lunar month. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike as they celebrate the arrival of spring, commemorate Krishna's pranks, and allow each other a momentary freedom -- a chance to drop their inhibitions and simply play and dance. Gathered here are images of this year's Holi festival from across India.
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1. Young Indians adorned with colored powder take part in celebrations for the spring festival of Holi in Bhubaneswar on March 16, 2014. Holi, the popular Hindu spring festival of colors is observed in India at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month.




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2. A man throws colored powder on a woman during Holi in Mumbai, India, on March 17, 2014.




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3. Hindu devotees raise their hands to receive colored holy water from a priest (unseen) outside a temple during Holi celebrations in Ahmedabad, on March 17, 2014.




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4. An Indian man has his face smeared with colors to celebrate Holi in Allahabad, India, on March 16, 2014.




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5. Men toss their shirts during "kapda phaar" (cloth tearing) Holi, part of Holi celebrations in Pushkar in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan on March 17, 2014.




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6. A boy sits in a plastic container filled with colored water during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai on March 16, 2014.




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7. An Indian woman shakes her head covered in colored powder during Holi in Mumbai, India, on March 17, 2014.




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8. A Hindu holy man, or Sadhu, waits for a Hindu priest to exit a temple and walk through a bonfire in Phalen village near the northern Indian city of Mathura, on March 17, 2014. This act signifies the burning of the demon Holika, during a ritual to mark the first day of Holi.




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9. Hindu priests throws colored powder at devotees during Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India, on March 13, 2014.




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10. People celebrate Holi in Kathmandu on March 16, 2014. Holi marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Nepal.




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11. Indians, faces smeared with colored powder, dance during celebrations marking Holi in Gauhati, India, on March 17, 2014.




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12. An Indian schoolchild dressed as the Hindu god Krishna and adorned with colored powder stands among other students during celebrations for the spring festival Holi in Bhubaneswar on March 16, 2014.




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13. A man reacts as colored water is splashed over him during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai on March 17, 2014.




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14. A widow sits on a chair after taking part in Holi celebrations organized by non-governmental organization Sulabh International at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on March 14, 2014. Traditionally in Hindu culture, widows are expected to renounce earthly pleasure so they do not celebrate Holi. But women at the shelter for widows, who have been abandoned by their families, celebrated the festival by throwing flowers and colored powder.




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15. A girl smeared with colors reacts as another girl throws powder at her during Holi celebrations in Chennai on March 16, 2014.




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16. A tourist takes part in Holi celebrations in Kathmandu on March 16, 2014.




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17. A boy smeared with colors is dragged through colored water in Chennai on March 16, 2014.




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18. Men dance during Holi celebrations in Allahabad on March 17, 2014.




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19. An Indian girl, face smeared with colored powder, sits on the shoulders of her father during celebrations marking Holi in Gauhati, India, on March 17, 2014.




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20. A widow throws flowers into the air during the Holi celebrations at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan on March 14, 2014.




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21. People daubed in colors dance to celebrate Holi in Guwahati, India, on March 17, 2014.




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22. A boy sits under a water tap to wash himself after taking part in Holi celebrations in Chennai on March 16, 2014.




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23. Hindu priest Babulal jumps out of a fire to signify the burning of the demon Holika during a ritual to mark the first day of Holi in Phalen Village, India, on March 17, 2014.




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24. A man smears the face of a woman with colors during celebrations marking Holi in Mumbai, India, on March 17, 2014. The holiday, celebrated mainly in India and Nepal, marks the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil.