Photos by Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press
Beginning on the full moon in the middle of March with an evening bonfire, the ancient Hindu festival of color and love known as Holi is celebrated to embrace the coming of Spring. This past weekend, as most of us in the Western world still feel the grey wrath of Winter, Associated Press photographer Rajesh Kumar Singh was there to capture and share all the vibrant photos from this visually striking festival, bringing a pleasant reminder of all the Spring color that is to come.
Along with singing and dancing into the night, Holi is filled with vividly colored paints and waters, thrown freely at strangers and friends alike to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. As of recently, while Holi celebrations are most widely-known to be in India and Nepal, the festival has spread westward into Europe and the U.S. as well. Festivals also vary by location depending on tradition or mythological belief by regions and villages that celebrate. For example, in the city of Barsana in northern India, women playfully hit men from the nearby village of Nandgaon with wooden sticks as they parade through the town.
Before you explore through the following photos rich in color and culture, I leave you with a statement on the nation’s government website from over the weekend by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who wrote: “May the festival bring health, happiness and prosperity to all.”