Teachers at a school in Ahmedabad, India, apply colored powder on one another as they celebrate Holi.

Holi is a celebration of love, color and spring

Updated 2:55 PM ET, Thu March 17, 2022

(CNN)With winter finally coming to an end, millions of people in India -- and other parts of the world home to Hindus -- are gearing up for one of the most joyous celebrations of the year.

That celebration is Holi, the Hindu festival of love, color and spring. It's a time when Indians don simple, inexpensive clothes and take to the streets to drench each other in clouds of colored powder and buckets of water. There's singing, dancing, and of course, food.
Holi this year falls on Friday.
People in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh play with colorful powders (gulal) during Holi.
But in some parts of India, communities begin the festivities by lighting bonfires the night before in a celebration known as Holika Dahan, or Choti Holi.
The bonfires are a nod to one of the most well-known legends associated with the festival.
The story goes something like this: The demon king Hiranyakashayap, who wanted to be worshipped as a god, became angry that his son Prahlad was instead a devotee of the deity Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe. In turn, Hiranyakashayap conspired with his sister Holika to kill his son.