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Holi 2013: The Festival of Colors

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This week Hindus around the world celebrated Holi, the Festival of Colors. Holi is a popular springtime celebration observed on the last full moon of the lunar month. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike as they celebrate the arrival of spring, commemorate Krishna's pranks, and allow each other 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. [34 photos]

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An Indian child reacts as colored powder is smeared on her hair during Holi festival in Chennai, India, on March 27, 2013. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors that also marks the advent of spring, is being celebrated across the country Wednesday. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K)
An Indian child reacts as colored powder is smeared on her hair during Holi festival in Chennai, India, on March 27, 2013. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors that also marks the advent of spring, is being celebrated across the country Wednesday. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K)
Indian Hindu devotees throw colored powder at the Radha Rani temple during the Lathmar Holi festival in Barsana, on March 21, 2013. Lathmar Holi is a local celebration, but it takes place well before the national Holi day on March 27. (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Hindu devotee, face smeared with colored powder, leaves the Banke Bihari temple during Holi celebrations in Vrindavan, India, on March 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #
Indian revelers spray a man on a motorbike with colored water during Holi festival celebrations in Allahabad, on March 27, 2013. (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images) #
Hindu devotees covered with colored powder chant religious slogans inside Banke Bihari temple during Holi festival celebrations in Vrindavan, India, on March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #
A man flings a pail of orange colored water towards a group of women during Huranga at the Dauji temple near the northern Indian city of Mathura March 28, 2013. Huranga is a game played between men and women a day after Holi, during which men drench women with liquid colors and women tear off the clothes of the men. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash) #
Hindu devotees play with color during Holi celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple on March 27, 2013 in Vrindavan, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Hindu men rest during Lathmaar Holi celebrations on March 22, 2013 in the village of Nundgaon near Mathura, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
A transgender Hindu devotee dances during Lathmaar Holi celebrations on March 21, 2013 in Barsana, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
A boy smeared with colors reacts as another boy throws water on him during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai, on March 27, 2013. (Reuters/Babu) #
A Hindu woman stands on a floor covered with colored powder as devotees celebrate holi festival inside the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, on March 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #
Physically disabled children react to camera as they play with colored powder during Holi festival celebrations in Mumbai, on March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) #
Colored powder is thrown on Hindu men from the village of Nandgaon as they sit on the floor during prayers at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana, India, on March 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A Bangladeshi Hindu child with his face smeared in colors participates in Holi festival celebrations in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad, File) #
Hindu devotees play with color during Holi celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple on March 27, 2013 in Vrindavan, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Indian revelers cover each other with colored powder look on during Holi festival celebrations in Siliguri, on March 27, 2013. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #
Indian Hindu devotees throw colored water at the Radha Rani temple during the Lathmar Holi festival in Barsana, on March 21, 2013. (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A physically challenged Indian child smeared with gulal-colored powder smiles during Holi celebrations at a special school - Society for the Education of the Crippled, in Mumbai on March 26, 2013. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images) #
Indian Hindu devotees smeared with colors play at the Nandagram temple during Lathmar Holi festival, in Nandgaon, India, on March 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) #
A boy looks on as Hindu devotees play with color during Lathmar Holi celebrations on March 21, 2013 in the village of Barsana, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
An Indian, face smeared with colored powder, celebrates Holi festival in Gauhati, India, on March 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #
Hindu devotees play with color during Holi celebrations in the back streets close to the Banke Bihari temple, on March 27, 2013 in Vrindavan, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Two men spray water onto a crowd gathered below during Huranga at the Dauji temple near the northern Indian city of Mathura March 28, 2013. Huranga is a game played between men and women a day after Holi, the festival of colors, during which men drench women with liquid colors and women tear off the clothes of the men. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash) #
Two men who have been smeared in colored powder and water pose for a picture during Holi celebrations in a lane near the Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, on March 27, 2013. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash) #
Hindu devotees play with color during Holi celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple, on March 27, 2013. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Hindu devotees play with color during Lathmaar Holi celebrations on March 21, 2013 in the village of Barsana. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Indian Hindu widows throw colored powder during Holi celebrations organized by the NGO Sulabh at the Meera Sahbhagini Ashram in Vrindavan, India, on March 27, 2013. The widows, many of whom at times have lived desperate lives in the streets of the temple town, celebrated the festival for the first time at the century old ashram. After their husband's deaths the women have been banished by their families to the town where devotees believe Lord Krishna was born, for supposedly bringing bad luck. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Hindu devotees throw colored water at each other at a temple during "Lathmar Holi" at the village of Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on March 21, 2013. In a Holi tradition unique to Barsana and Nandgaon villages, men sing provocative songs to gain the attention of women, who then "beat" them with bamboo sticks called "lathis". Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash) #
An intoxicated Indian rickshaw driver has a rest near Banke Bihari temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, during Holi festival celebrations in Vrindavan, on March 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Hindu transsexuals or Eunuchs dance as colored powder is thrown at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana, 115 kilometers (71 miles) from New Delhi, India, on March 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Indian woman from the village of Barsana hit villagers from Nandgaon with wooden sticks during the Lathmar Holi festival, in Barsana, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, on March 21, 2013. During Lathmar Holi the women of Barsana beat the men from Nandgaon, the hometown of Krishna, with wooden sticks in response to their teasing as they depart the town. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) #
Indians throw colored powder during Holi festival celebrations in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.) #
Children covered in colored powder play during celebrations of Holi, also known as the festival of colors, at the Society for the Education of the Crippled in Mumbai, on March 26, 2013. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui) #
A Hindu devotee in a cloud of colored powder inside a temple during Lathmar Holi in Barsana, India, on March 21, 2013. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash) #

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