Beautiful Photos of Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors

Photo contest submissions capture the eye-popping colors of the annual celebration

A colorful and dynamic festival, the annual celebration of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is celebrated by Hindus in India and throughout the world. Revelers cover each other in colored powder and water to celebrate the beginning of spring and to commemorate various Hindu legends.

Above: Two friends take a break from festivities to pose for the camera in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mohammad Moniruzzaman, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
Worshipers toss powder in Mathura, India. Teng Hin Khoo, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
A crowd celebrates beneath a shower of yellow in Mathura, India. Sucheta Das, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
A cloud of pink envelops worshipers at Barsana Temple in Barsana, Uttar Pradesh, India. Sandipan Majumdar, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
Tourists join in the festivities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Teng Hin Khoo, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
A girl sprays the photographer with colored water in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. Farhana Haque, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
A color-soaked man rests for a moment during the festivities in Mathura, India. Sucheta Das, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
A child armed with an air pump filled with colored water gets ready to spray passersby on the streets of Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. Shahnewaz Karim, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
Boys play in the color-soaked mud of Mathura City, India. Sahil Lodha, Smithsonian.com Photo Contest Archives
Locals show foreign tourists the customs of Holi in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Photo and Caption by Shivji Joshi (Jodhpur, India, March, 2011)
A young girl takes a break from color spraying during the Holi festival in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo by Mohammad Moniruzzaman (Knoxville, TN), March, 2010.

A colorful and dynamic festival, the annual celebration of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is celebrated by Hindus in India and throughout the world. Revelers cover each other in colored powder and water to celebrate the beginning of spring and to commemorate various Hindu legends.