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Indians splash colours in Hindu spring festival

  • Indian revellers covered in coloured powder dance during Holi festival celebrations in Allahabad on March 17, 2014. Holi, the popular Hindu spring festival of colours is observed in India at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA

  • An Indian girl, face smeared with colored powder, sits on the shoulder of her father during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, Monday, March 17, 2014. The festival also marks the advent of spring. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

  • Indians, faces smeared with colored powder, dance during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

  • Indians, faces smeared with colored powder and foam, dance during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

  • Indian revellers covered in coloured powder dance during Holi festival celebrations in Allahabad on March 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA

  • Indian children covered in coloured powder spray coloured water during Holi festival celebrations in Allahabad on March 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA

  • An Indian man throws colored powder on a woman as they celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Mumbai India, Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/ Rafiq Maqbool)

  • A girl reacts as women smear color on her face to celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Allahabad, , India, Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/ Rajesh Kumar Singh)

NEW DELHI: Millions of Indians splashed bright colors on each other Monday to celebrate the popular Hindu festival of Holi, which marks the start of spring.

The 'Festival of Colours' saw revellers pour onto streets across the country, smearing and splashing powder, known as 'gulal', and water on others to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

Many politicians, including ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, jubilantly celebrated Holi covered in fluorescent hues with party workers, family and friends.

"May the festival bring health, happiness and prosperity to all," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wished the country of 1.2 billion people in a statement on his website.

Opposition prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi greeted Indians on mobile phones with an audio message, in which he urged voters to change the fate of the world's largest democracy when it goes to polls next month.

"The country has been submerged into the colour of elections. Election is the festival of Holi for the democracy. Let's celebrate this festival of democracy to change the fate of India," Modi said in his audio message.

In the capital New Delhi, neighbourhoods were splattered in a rainbow of colours as people from all walks of life playfully chased each other with water guns, water balloons and spray paint and danced to the beat of drums in clouds of flying powder.

Holi is primarily celebrated in India, Nepal and other countries with large Hindu populations. It falls on the last full moon day of the lunar month at the end of winter.

 
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