indian devotees and foreign tourist take part in the kapda phaar or picture

Holi, the Festival of Colors

Without question, Holi is the most colorful two days of the year. Anywhere. Celebrated primarily in India and Nepal, it marks the end of winter, the coming of spring, the triumph of good over evil, and the blessings of love and fertility, and has become a time to cut loose, renew friendships, repair relationships, and get covered with gloriously colorful powder.

This year, the Hindu Spring Festival, observed on the last full moon of the lunar month, begins on March 1. -/AFP/Getty Images This year, the Hindu Spring Festival, observed on the last full moon of the lunar month, begins on March 1. With richly hued powders flying everywhere, the streets and parks turn colorfully chaotic with people tossing, sprinkling, and smearing powder on anyone they see: friends, strangers, the old and the young, the woman from the bus, and the mean guy at the grocery store. Anyone and everyone. Hindustan Times/Hindustan Times via Getty Images With richly hued powders flying everywhere, the streets and parks turn colorfully chaotic with people tossing, sprinkling, and smearing powder on anyone they see: friends, strangers, the old and the young, the woman from the bus, and the mean guy at the grocery store. Anyone and everyone. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan, or Chhoti Holi. People traditionally gather around fires which symbolize the burning of the devil Holika and the triumph of good versus evil. SHAUKAT AHMED/AFP/Getty Images The first evening is known as Holika Dahan, or Chhoti Holi. People traditionally gather around fires which symbolize the burning of the devil Holika and the triumph of good versus evil. The different colors of the powder represent different things. Red traditionally is a sign of love and fertility, blue is the color of Krishna, and green symbolizes new beginnings. ASIT KUMAR/AFP/Getty Images The different colors of the powder represent different things. Red traditionally is a sign of love and fertility, blue is the color of Krishna, and green symbolizes new beginnings. Bowls Full of Color Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images Bowls Full of Color The following day is Rangwali Holi, when gulal (colored powder) is thrown to celebrate the legend of Hindu God Krishna and Goddess Radha and their love for one another. ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images The following day is Rangwali Holi, when gulal (colored powder) is thrown to celebrate the legend of Hindu God Krishna and Goddess Radha and their love for one another. Lost in a Fog of Color AFP/Getty Images Lost in a Fog of Color In Barsana and Nandgaon, the respective birthplaces of Radha and Krishna, they celebrate “Lathmar Holi.” The women playfully beat the men with sticks in retaliation for being covered in color. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images In Barsana and Nandgaon, the respective birthplaces of Radha and Krishna, they celebrate “Lathmar Holi.” The women playfully beat the men with sticks in retaliation for being covered in color. Everyone gets it! No one is immune, especially in Nandgaon, the hometown of Hindu God Krishna. Hindustan Times via Getty Images Everyone gets it! No one is immune, especially in Nandgaon, the hometown of Hindu God Krishna. Color Falls Like Rain Hindustan Times via Getty Images Color Falls Like Rain Around 1,000 widows living in the holy city of Vrindavan have in recent years celebrated Holi, breaking from tradition where widows are considered social outcasts and have been stopped from joining in the festival. Noemi Cassanelli/AFP/Getty Images Around 1,000 widows living in the holy city of Vrindavan have in recent years celebrated Holi, breaking from tradition where widows are considered social outcasts and have been stopped from joining in the festival. Here, widows join in the fun in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. India Today Group/Getty Images Here, widows join in the fun in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. Smiles All Around Hindustan Times/Hindustan Times via Getty Images Smiles All Around Quality Face Time Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images Quality Face Time And when the party is over and you are still pink, purple, and green? Then it is time to get cleaned up with some suggested remedies of eggs, lemon juice, or cold water. Hindustan Times/Hindustan Times via Getty Images And when the party is over and you are still pink, purple, and green? Then it is time to get cleaned up with some suggested remedies of eggs, lemon juice, or cold water. Until next year! Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images Until next year!
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