Millions of Indians are celebrating Holi – the festival of colours – at home and around the world.
The festival which marks the last full-moon day of the lunar month celebrates the beginning of spring and the victory of good over evil.
People celebrate this day by smearing bright colours on friends and family, offering prayers and burning a bonfire to symbolically destroy the bad so that the good can triumph.
The festival is based on a Hindu legend and has a huge cultural significance in India. People see the festival as symbolising new beginnings, and as a time to mend relationships and start afresh.
Huge processions are held in several parts of India to mark the festival. People dance and sing and hold sumptuous feasts with traditional fare. Schools are shut as children and adults devote the day to colourful celebrations.
The festival is celebrated in a grand and unique way in cities like Vrindavan and Mathura in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Celebrations last for an entire week. Devotees undertake massive processions where they dance and throw colour at each other.
In the days leading up to the festival, the streets are lined with stalls selling powdered colours, pichkaris (water pistols) and other festival-related paraphernalia.
Photos of people celebrating the festival from various parts of the city show them completely covered in colourful paint as they take part in the large gatherings. People smear gulal (a red powder) – which symbolises wealth, passion and strength – on each other to mark the festival.
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