The Hindu festival of Holi, or the “Festival of Colors,” heralds the arrival of spring and the end of winter.
The Chhath Puja Festival is one of the most important festivals in the northern Indian states, and sees people worshiping the Sun god on the banks of rivers or small ponds, and praying for the longevity and health of their spouse. During Chhath, an ancient Hindu festival, rituals are performed to thank the Sun God for sustaining life on earth.
Nepalese Hindu devotees celebrate the Shikali Jatra festival at the Shikali Temple in the village of Khokana, on the outskirts of Kathmandu on October 7, 2016.
Local villagers, who normally do not celebrate the country’s most famous festival of Dashain, celebrate the Shikali Jatra each year.
Hindu devotees celebrated the festival of Ram Navami, the birth anniversary of Lord Rama, on April 15, which also marks the end of the nine-day long fasting and Navaratri festival. Three days each of Navratri are devoted to the worship of the goddess of valor Durga, the goddess of wealth Lakshmi, and the goddess of knowledge Saraswati.
Locals and Indian Hindu widows throw participated in Holi celebrations at the Gopinath temple, 180 kilometres (112 miles) south-east of New Delhi, India, on Monday. A few years ago this joyful celebration was forbidden for Hindu widows. Like hundreds of thousands of observant Hindu women, they would have been expected to live out their days in quiet worship, dressed only in white, their very presence being considered inauspicious for all religious festivities.
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On March 27, Hindus across India and the Indian diaspora will observe Holi, a festival that in part marks the beginning of spring. In celebration, Hindu devotees spend the day smearing colored powder on each other’s faces and throwing colored water at friends and family, leading to Holi’s status as India’s “Festival of Colors.”
Local Holi celebrations often begin earlier, including Lathmar Holi in the northern Indian town of Barsana. Unique to the Lathmar Holi tradition is a ceremony where women use long sticks to beat men who sing provocative songs to invite their attention.
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