India celebrates colourful beginning of spring

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The Independent Online

The tradition of Holi, also called the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated by Hindus all over India.

The main day, Holi, is celebrated with great festivity and joy by people smearing each other with coloured powder and water. They gather outside in a common place and wish each other "Happy Holi" for the well-being of their families. Holi commemoration begins the day before, also known as little Holi, when bonfires are lit with old wood, sticks, branches and leaves in special ceremonies symbolising the triumph of good over evil. This year, Holi is on 11 March.

To mark this very ancient festival, we selected a series of beautiful and colourful images, which highlight some of the vivid festivities.