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March 21, 2011
Holi, the Hindu festival of colors
Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, is traditionally celebrated by people throwing colored powder and colored water at each other. It is a popular Hindu spring festival observed in India at the end of winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month, which usually falls in the later part of February or in March. The tradition of playing with colors on Holi draws its roots from a legend of Radha and the Hindu God Krishna. It is believed that young Lord Krishna was jealous of Radha's fair complexion since he himself was very dark. After questioning his mother Yashoda about the darkness of his complexion, Yashoda, teasingly asked him to color Radha's face in which ever color he wanted. In a mischievous mood, Lord Krishna applied color on Radha's face, hence the tradition of applying color on one's beloved and loved ones is being religiously followed to this day. (45 images)

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Indian women play with colored powder during festivities marking holi in Calcutta, India, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Bikas Das / AP


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Indians dance after smearing their faces with color and throwing water as they celebrate Holi, the festival of colors in Allahabad, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP



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Indian women, smeared each others faces with color, throw water as they dance to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors in Allahabad, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP



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Indian women smear each others faces with color as they dance to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors in Allahabad, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP



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Indian women and children smear each others faces with color as they dance to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors in Allahabad, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP



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Indian girls smear each other's face with colored powder as they celebrate Holi in Mumbai, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Hindus across the country are celebrating Holi, the festival of colors Sunday. Rafiq Maqbool / AP



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Indian children throw colored water at each other as they celebrate Holi, the festival of colors in Mumbai, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Rafiq Maqbool / AP



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Indians dance as they celebrate Holi, the festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Anupam Nath / AP



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Indians dance as they celebrate Holi, the festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Anupam Nath / AP



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Indians dance as they celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Anupam Nath / AP



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An Indian man, his face smeared with color and glitter, celebrates Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, Sunday, March 20, 2011. Anupam Nath / AP



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An Indian reveller enjoys artificial colored water during "Holi" celebrations in Hyderabad on March 20, 2011. Noah Seelam / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian revellers enjoy artificial colored water during "Holi" celebrations in Hyderabad on March 20, 2011. Noah Seelam / AFP/ Getty Images



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An Indian reveller enjoys artificial colored water during "Holi" celebrations in Hyderabad on March 20, 2011. Noah Seelam / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian revellers enjoy artificial colored water during "Holi" celebrations in Hyderabad on March 20, 2011. Noah Seelam / AFP/ Getty Images



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A young Indian reveller enjoys artificial colored water during "Holi" celebrations in Hyderabad on March 20, 2011. Noah Seelam / AFP/ Getty Images



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A girl, her face smeared with colored powder, smiles during celebration of holi festival in Calcutta, India, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Bikas Das / AP



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A Hindu devotee colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, reacts at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Manish Swarup / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, crowd at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Manish Swarup / AP



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Colored powder and water thrown by a Hindu priest falls on devotees celebrating Holi, the festival of colors, at the Swaminarayan temple in Ahmadabad, India, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Ajit Solanki / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, crowd at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Manish Swarup / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, crowd at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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Indian Hindu devotee throws colors during Holi celebrations at Lord Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan around 140kms from New Delhi on March 19, 2011. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian Hindu devotees throw colors during Holi celebrations at Lord Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan around 140kms from New Delhi on March 19, 2011. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian Hindu devotees pray during Holi celebrations at Lord Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan around 140kms from New Delhi on March 19, 2011. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian Hindu devotees are smeared with colors as they pray during Holi celebrations at Lord Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, some 140kms from New Delhi on March 19, 2011. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian Hindu devotees throw colors as they pray during Holi celebrations at Lord Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, some 140kms from New Delhi on March 19, 2011. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian Hindu devotees throw colors as they pray during Holi celebrations at Lord Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan some 140kms from New Delhi on March 19, 2011. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP/ Getty Images



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An Indian reveler gets daubed with colored powder on her others faces during Vasantotsav "the festival of Spring" in the west Bengal city of Siliguri, on March 19, 2011. Diptendu Dutta / AFP/ Getty Images



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Devotees at the Swaminarayan Temple celebrate the "Holi" festival of colors with Indian heir to the Swaminarayan Temple, Lalji Maharaj Shri Vrajendraprasdaji Maharaj (unseen) at Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur, Ahmedabad on March 19, 2011. Sam Panthaky / AFP/ Getty Images



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Indian students smear each other's face with colored powder during Holi festivities in Allahabad, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, pray at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Vrindavan is a famous place for Holi celebrations, where according to legend, the Hindu god Krishna played Holi with his consort Radha. Kevin Frayer / AP



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A Hindu priest throws colored powder on devotees celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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A Hindu devotee colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, pause at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, dance and crowd at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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A Hindu devotee colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, prostrates himself at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, crowd at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, crowd at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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Hindu devotees colored by powder thrown while celebrating "Holi," the festival of color, dance at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Kevin Frayer / AP



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A boy smiles as his face is smeared with colored powder during Holi festivities in Mumbai, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Rafiq Maqbool / AP



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An Indian girl gets her face smeared with colored powder during Holi festivities in Hyderabad, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Mahesh Kumar A / AP



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A man gets his face smeared with colored powder during holi festivities in Allahabad, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP



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Students of Rabindra Bharati University, faces smeared with colored powder, dance during Holi festival celebrations at the residence of India's first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in Calcutta, India, Wednesday, March 16, 2011. Bikas Das / AP



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Students of Rabindra Bharati University smear the face of a fellow student with colored powder during Holi festival celebrations at the residence of India's first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in Calcutta, India, Wednesday, March 16, 2011. Bikas Das / AP



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Indian villagers smear themselves with colors as they celebrate Holi festival in Nandgaon, near Mathura, India, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Pankaj Nangia / AP



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