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To mark the end of winter and the arrival of spring, millions of Hindus from India and elsewhere celebrate Holi, the festival of colors. The national holiday officially begins March 27, but regional variations of Holi have taken place across the country in recent weeks. Devotees dance and throw colored powders known as "gulal" at each other to welcome the warm months to come. The use of gulal, which can also be mixed with water to form a dye, has its roots in the story of the love affair between the god Krishna and Radha. According to legend, Krishna, often depicted with a blue complexion, colored the face of Radha because he was jealous of her fair complexion. Take a look at the brilliantly colorful festival: 

Nandgaon, India | March 3, 2013 (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

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Nandgaon, India | March 3, 2013 (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

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Barsana, India | March 21, 2013 (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

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Barsana, India | March 21, 2013 (REUTERS/Vivek Prakash)

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Barsana, India | March 21, 2013 (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

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Vrindavan, India | March 25, 2013 (REUTERS/Vivek Prakash)

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Nandgaon, India | March 22, 2013 (AHMAD MASOOD/Reuters/Corbis)

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Nandgaon, India | March 22, 2013 (AP Photo / Manish Swarup)

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Barsana, India | March 22, 2013 (REUTERS/Vivek Prakash)

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