India's colorful Holi festival

India's Festival of Colors heralds spring

ByRadhika Chalasani
March 2, 2018, 3:13 PM
PHOTO: Students with their faces smeared in colored powder dance as they celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi, heralding Spring, at a university campus in Chandigarh, India on March 1, 2018.
Students with their faces smeared in colored powder dance as they celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi, heralding Spring, at a university campus in Chandigarh, India on March 1, 2018.
Ajay Verma/Reuters

— -- Riotous, vibrant color envelopes India when Hindus celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring with the annual festival of Holi. Also known as the festival of colors, it is a time to let go of certain social norms by wearing all-white clothes to dance and douse friends, family and strangers in colored powders or water of deep hues of magenta, blue, green, yellow or orange. Holi has its roots in stories from Indian mythology. Though the official date this year is March 2, different parts of the country celebrate the day before then or over several days.

PHOTO: A color smoke candle fill the air as a procession of the Hindi god lord Krishna's chariot moves through a street during Holi in Kolkata, India on Feb. 28, 2018.
A color smoke candle fill the air as a procession of the Hindi god lord Krishna's chariot moves through a street during Holi in Kolkata, India on Feb. 28, 2018.
Bikas Das/AP
PHOTO: The tradition of throwing colored powder and water is believed to originate from the mythological love story of Radha and Krishna. A woman smeared with colored powder shakes her head during Holi celebrations in Mumbai, India on March 2, 2018.
The tradition of throwing colored powder and water is believed to originate from the mythological love story of Radha and Krishna. A woman smeared with colored powder shakes her head during Holi celebrations in Mumbai, India on March 2, 2018.
Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters
PHOTO: Hindu men from the villages of Nandgaon and Barsana celebrate the Lathmar Holi festival at the Radha Rani temple in Barsana village, Mathura, India, Feb. 24, 2018.
Hindu men from the villages of Nandgaon and Barsana celebrate the Lathmar Holi festival at the Radha Rani temple in Barsana village, Mathura, India, Feb. 24, 2018. In Barsana, people celebrate a variation of Holi called Lathmar Holi, which means beating with sticks. The women of Barsana, the birth place of Hindu God Krishna's beloved Radha, beat the men from Nandgaon, the hometown of Hindu God Krishna, with wooden sticks in response to their efforts to put color on them.
Rajat Gupta/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
PHOTO: Widows covered in colors dance during Holi celebrations in the town of Vrindavan in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Feb. 27, 2018.
Widows covered in colors dance during Holi celebrations in the religious town of Vrindavan, where many widows live, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Feb. 27, 2018.
Adnan Abidi/Reuters
PHOTO: Colored water is poured on a boy during Holi celebrations in Kolkata, India on March 2, 2018.
Colored water is poured on a boy during Holi celebrations in Kolkata, India on March 2, 2018.
Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
PHOTO: Indian and foreign tourists take part in the "kapda phaar" or cloth tearing during Holi celebrations in Pushkar, in the Indian state of Rajasthan on March 2, 2018.
Indian and foreign tourists take part in the "kapda phaar" or cloth tearing during Holi celebrations in Pushkar, in the Indian state of Rajasthan, March 2, 2018.
Shaukat Ahmed/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: Tribal students from the Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS), dressed as Lord Krishna and Radha, face a rain of petals during Holi celebrations in the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India on March 1, 2018.
Tribal students from the Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS), dressed as Lord Krishna and Radha, face a rain of petals during Holi celebrations in the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India on March 1, 2018.
AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: Hindu devotees take part in Holi festivities inside a temple in Nandgaon village, in Uttar Pradesh, India on Feb. 25, 2018.
Hindu devotees take part in Holi festivities inside a temple in Nandgaon village, in Uttar Pradesh, India on Feb. 25, 2018.
Adnan Abidi/Reuters
PHOTO: Students smear colored powder on each other for Holi in Kolkata, India on Feb. 26, 2018.
Students smear colored powder on each other for Holi in Kolkata, India on Feb. 26, 2018.
AFP/Getty Images

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events