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8 famously messy festivals

By: Josh Lew on Nov. 18, 2013, 2:52 p.m.
Woman throws colored powder during Holi

Photo: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

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This springtime festival is celebrated throughout India and Nepal and in countries with large South Asian populations, such as South Africa, Malaysia and Trinidad and Tobago. People mark the day by throwing colored and scented powders on each other. This is done to celebrate the new colors that bloom in the springtime. In the past, powders were colored naturally with flower extracts and spices like turmeric. And after complaints about artificial dyes in recent times, many people have again gone back to natural coloring.

In most major cities, you may be pelted with powder when you step outside. In some towns, the main celebration takes place in a temple or other religious space. This is especially the case in places like the state of Uttar Pradesh in north central India. This region is the homeland of Krishna, one of the Hindu figures celebrated during Holi. The date of Holi depends on the lunar calender, but it usually occurs in February or March.