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World - Asia/Pacific

Spring festival paints India with color, spontaneity

March 2, 1999
Web posted at: 8:06 p.m. EST (0106 GMT)

JAIPUR, India (CNN) -- Revelers, politicians, even elephants were awash with color in India on Tuesday, as the nation celebrated the Hindu festival Holi.

During the festival, which heralds the start of spring, participants sprinkle each other with colored water and powder, while some exchange gifts and sweets. For one day, usual restrictions of caste, sex, status and age are disregarded, and revelers let loose in an atmosphere of frivolity.

Mobs of dancers flooded the streets of the northern Indian city of Jaipur, including India's prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and his finance minister, Yashwant Sinha, who played cymbals and sang songs with a group from his home state.

According to Hindu mythology, the festival of colors symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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The Bharatiya Temple - Holi Festival Page
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