Lonely Planet Writer

Brilliant colours brighten up streets, clothes and faces as people celebrate the Hindu festival Holi

People around India and other countries are celebrating Holi this week in a wash of bright colours and celebration.

Indian Hindus celebrate the festival of colors or Holi in Kolkata, India, Wednesday.
Indian Hindus celebrate the festival of colors in Kolkata, India, Wednesday. Image by AP Photo/Bikas Das

The Hindu holiday is celebrated mainly in India and Nepal and marks both the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil.

Indians play with colors during Holi festival celebrations in Jammu, India.
Indians play with colors during celebrations in Jammu, India. Image by AP Photo/Channi Anand

The Festival of Colours is often celebrated with people painting other people in bright pigments.

Indian revelers dance during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.
Indian revelers dance during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. Image by AP Photo/ Rajesh Kumar Singh

People also give out sweets and squirt one other with dyed water.

Indian Hindus celebrate the festival of colors or Holi in Kolkata, India.
Indian Hindus celebrate the festival of colors in Kolkata, India. Image by AP Photo/Bikas Das

Holi is a three-day festival, but the colourful celebration is generally concentrated on the final day.

An Indian man pours a bucket of colored water on others during Holi celebrations in Allahabad, India.
An Indian man pours a bucket of colored water in Allahabad, India. Image by AP Photo/ Rajesh Kumar Singh

The night before, many cities and town see large bonfires lit on streets.

A Bangladeshi woman shuts her eyes as colored powder is smeared on her face during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
A Bangladeshi woman shuts her eyes as colored powder is smeared on her face during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Image by AP Photo/A.M. Ahad

Effigies of the demon Holika are occasionally burned to show the triumph of good over evil.

A Bangladeshi woman shuts her eyes as colored powder is smeared on her face during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
A Bangladeshi woman shuts her eyes as colored powder is smeared on her face during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Image by AP Photo/A.M. Ahad