Millions of people in India celebrate the Hindu festival of colours, Holi

Holi, known to many as the Hindu festival of colours, marks the arrival of the spring season in India, Nepal and other South Asian countries, as well as the diaspora. It celebrates the divine love between the Hindu god Krishna and his consort Radha, and signifies a time of rebirth and renewal, embracing positive energy and shedding negative energy.

Across the country, people – some dressed entirely in white – celebrated the festival by covering each other in colored powder, while others threw water balloons filled with colorful dyes from balconies. Some used water pistols to chase other revelers in the parks, and others danced in the streets to music from loudspeakers.

Food and drink are a big part of the celebrations. Vendors in some parts of India were selling thandai, a traditional drink made from milk and dried fruits and sometimes mixed with cannabis.

Another tradition that characterizes Holi is bhang, a paste made by grinding the leaves of the cannabis plant and used in drinks and snacks. It is associated with Hinduism, especially with the god Shiva, and is eaten during some religious festivals in the region. The sale and consumption of the paste is permitted under Indian law, although authorities in some states have banned it.

In some parts of India, people also light large bonfires the night before the festival to commemorate the victory of good over evil.

Holi traditions vary across India.

Last week, in preparation for the festival, hundreds of women in two northern cities celebrated by jokingly hitting men with wooden sticks in response to their seduction as part of a ritual. Known as Lathmar Holi (Palo Santo), it attracts a large number of visitors.

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fountain: News agency

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