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The Colors of Holi 2012

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Around the world, Hindus are celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colors. Holi is a popular springtime celebrations observed on the last full moon of the lunar month. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, celebrating the arrival of Spring, commemorating Krishna's pranks, and allowing everyone a momentary freedom -- a chance to drop their inhibitions and simply play and dance. Gathered here are images of this year's Holi festival from across India and several other countries. [31 photos]

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An Indian tribal girl, her face smeared with color and wearing festive finery, participates in a cultural function to celebrate Holi in Bhubaneswar, India, on March 8, 2012. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, also heralds the coming of spring.(AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
An Indian tribal girl, her face smeared with color and wearing festive finery, participates in a cultural function to celebrate Holi in Bhubaneswar, India, on March 8, 2012. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, also heralds the coming of spring.(AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
A teacher holds a plate with colored powder before hurling it on her students as they celebrate Holi in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Amit Dave) #
People throw colored powder as they celebrate "Lathmar Holi" at village Nandgaon in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on March 3, 2012. In a Holi tradition unique to Nandgaon and Barsana villages, men sing provocative songs to gain the attention of women, who then "beat" them with bamboo sticks called "lathis". (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
A tourist, her face smeared with color, smiles as she participates in Holi festivities in Kolkata, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Bikas Das) #
Hindu devotees crowd and reach for sweets as they face a deity while celebrating Holi, the festival of color, at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from New Delhi, India, on March 8, 2012. Vrindavan is a famous place for Holi celebrations, where according to legend, the Hindu god Krishna played Holi with his consort Radha. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A Hindu devotee sprays colored foam while celebrating Holi at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, India, on March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
People chant religious slogans as they stand in a queue to enter a temple to celebrate Holi in Vrindavan, India, on March 8, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
A combination of pictures shows men and boys daubed in coloured powder as they celebrate "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon and Barsana villages, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on March 2 and March 3, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
An Indian girl, her face smeared with colored powder, participates in Holi celebrations in Chennai, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.) #
A Hindu devotee covers her head as yellow powder is thrown in the air while celebrating Holi at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, India, on March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Indians, their faces smeared with colors, participate in Holi celebrations in Gauhati, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #
A man daubed in coloured powder lies on the ground as he celebrates "Lathmar Holi" in Nandgaon village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on March 3, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
Boys daubed in colored powder dance in an alley as they celebrate Holi in Mumbai, on March 8, 2012. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui) #
Hindu devotees pray and face a deity as colored powder is thrown on them while celebrating Holi in Vrindavan, India, on March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A student, with her face smeared in colored powder, celebrates Holi at a college in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, on March 2, 2012. (Reuters/Ajay Verma) #
An Indian Hindu worshiper throws a bucket of colored water on others during Lathmar Holi at Nandagram Temple, in Nandgaon,India, on March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Students of Rabindra Bharati University, daubed in colored powder, pose for a photograph as they celebrate Holi in Kolkata, on March 6, 2012. (Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri) #
Indian Hindu men are completely covered in red powder thrown on them as they sit on the floor of the Radha Rani Temple during Lathmar Holi in Barsana, India, on March 2, 2012. According to tradition which has its roots in Hindu mythology men from Lord Krishna's village of Nandgaon are beaten by the women of Barsana, home of Lord Krishna's lover Radha. It is said that Lord Krisna's relatives used to tease Radha and her friends and were beaten by them in return. Even to this day, marriage between the two villages are not permitted. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Indian men dance amid colored powder and water during Holi celebrations in Gauhati, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #
Tourists and Indians celebrate Holi by splashing water and colors in Kolkata, on March 8, 2012. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Indian man dances amid a cloud of colored powder during Holi celebrations in Gauhati, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #
A man reacts as his face is smeared with colored powder during Holi festivities in Mumbai, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade) #
An Indian girl, her face smeared with colored powder, reacts as water is squirted on her during Holi celebrations in Chennai, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.) #
A Hindu throws colored powder as others crowd while celebrating Holi, the festival of color, at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A man daubed in colored powder poses for a picture during "Lathmar Holi" at Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on March 2, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
Hindu devotees pray and face a deity as colored powder is thrown on them while celebrating Holi in Vrindavan, India, on March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
People apply colored powder to a woman's face as they celebrate Holi in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, on March 5, 2012. (Reuters/Amit Dave) #
Hindu devotees have a bucket of coloured water poured on them while walking to the the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, India, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
People dance as water is sprayed on them while they celebrate Holi in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, on March 8, 2012. (Reuters/Jitendra Prakash) #
A Hindu devotee is covered in red powder as she and others crowd while praying and facing a deity during Holi at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, on March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A man drenches himself in colored water during celebrations of Holi, also known as the festival of colours, in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, on March 8, 2012. The traditional event heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated across the country. (Reuters/Krishnendu Halder) #

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