Holi 2014: India Celebrates Festival of Colours [PHOTOS]

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By Ankita Mehta | March 17, 2014 5:25 PM EST

A girl smeared with colours reacts as another girl throws coloured powder at her during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Babu
A girl smeared with colours reacts as another girl throws coloured powder at her during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Babu

People from across India celebrated the festival of colours, Holi, with gulal (coloured powder) and pichkaaris (water guns) on Monday (17 March).

On the occasion of Holi, people greeted each other with sweets, especially the traditional gujiya, in North India.

Apart from sweets, revellers also consume tradition thandai, which is also called as bhang. Thandai is a popular drink made during Holi with buds and leaves of the cannabis plant

Holi, the festival of colours marks the "victory of good over evil."

This year for the first time widows of Vrindavan played Holi with gulal and pichkaaris. Last year, these women came out and celebrated the festival with flowers, but this year they went a step ahead and used colour to mark the festival.

Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi wished India citizens a happy and safe Holi.

"On the happy occasion of Holi, I extend my greetings and good wishes to all my fellow citizens. As spring arrives, this festival of colours brings with it a joyous celebration of the rejuvenation of nature and ushers in renewed faith in peaceful co-existence. Holi not only brings joy and gaiety in our lives but also provides an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood among people of all faiths. May this festival reinforce the multi-coloured hues of our extraordinary heritage and bring peace and prosperity to our Motherland."

"Holi is the celebration of life and goodness and gives opportunity to strengthen the spirit of brotherhood," Mukherjee said in a statement.

"May the festival bring health, happiness and prosperity to all," Singh said.

Check out the Holi celebration photos here: 

A Hindu priest throws coloured powder at the devotees during Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
A Hindu priest throws coloured powder at the devotees during Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
A Hindu woman daubed in colours takes part in Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
A Hindu woman daubed in colours takes part in Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Widows daubed in colours take part in the Holi celebrations organised by non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 14, 2014. Traditionally in Hindu culture, widows are expected to renounce earthly pleasure so they do not celebrate Holi. But women at the shelter for widows, who have been abandoned by their families, celebrated the festival by throwing flowers and coloured powder.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Widows daubed in colours take part in the Holi celebrations organised by non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 14, 2014. Traditionally in Hindu culture, widows are expected to renounce earthly pleasure so they do not celebrate Holi. But women at the shelter for widows, who have been abandoned by their families, celebrated the festival by throwing flowers and coloured powder.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Women, who are former scavengers, spray coloured water during the Holi celebrations organised by non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 14, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Women, who are former scavengers, spray coloured water during the Holi celebrations organised by non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 14, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
People celebrate during Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu March 16, 2014. Holi marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Nepal. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
People celebrate during Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu March 16, 2014. Holi marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Nepal. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A tourist celebrates Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu March 16, 2014.  REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A tourist celebrates Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A boy sits in a plastic container filled with coloured water during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Babu
A boy sits in a plastic container filled with coloured water during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Babu

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(Photo: / )
A girl smeared with colours reacts as another girl throws coloured powder at her during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Babu
(Photo: / )
A Hindu priest throws coloured powder at the devotees during Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
(Photo: / )
A Hindu woman daubed in colours takes part in Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
(Photo: / )
Widows daubed in colours take part in the Holi celebrations organised by non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 14, 2014. Traditionally in Hindu culture, widows are expected to renounce earthly pleasure so they do not celebrate Holi. But women at the shelter for widows, who have been abandoned by their families, celebrated the festival by throwing flowers and coloured powder.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
(Photo: / )
Women, who are former scavengers, spray coloured water during the Holi celebrations organised by non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a widows' ashram in Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 14, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
(Photo: / )
People celebrate during Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu March 16, 2014. Holi marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Nepal. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
(Photo: / )
A tourist celebrates Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
(Photo: / )
A boy sits in a plastic container filled with coloured water during Holi celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Babu
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