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Holi is an annual festival celebrated in the Indian subcontinent. Family and friends come together to feast, dance, and laugh together while dousing each other with colored powder and water. These traditional drummers move from house to house, adding a peppy, musical touch to the day's festivities.

The colours are not chosen at random, but have symbolic meaning.

People across the country are celebrating the festival of colour with zeal and enthusiasm.

Millions of people are celebrating the Holi festival today, marking the official arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil.

It was even described in detail in a 7th century Sanskrit play called "Ratnavali", written by the Indian emperor Harsha. Holi marks the beginning of spring season and arrives at a time when the agricultural fields are on pace for a better harvest.

Though it is an ancient Hindu festival, it has become popular with non-Hindus in South Asia, Europe and North America, among other places.

"Witness the beauty of the great cupid festival which excites curiosity as the townsfolk are dancing at the touch of brownish water thrown ... Everything is coloured yellowish red and rendered dusty by the heaps of scented powder blown all over". Delhi Police said it had made proper arrangements in case of any hooliganism during the celebrations, requesting the people to obey rules for safe celebration and stay away from drunken driving.

After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober up and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchanging candies.

Here we bring you a glimpse of the celebrations.

What are the mythical roots of Holi?

On this day, the mythological "Holika" is said to have died. His son, however, followed Vishnu, the protector of the universe, turning his back on the demon. Holika would survive because she had an enchanted shawl that would protect her from the flames. Soon after, Vishnu killed Hiranyakashayap and Prahlad became king.

The major celebrations took place in Mathura city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the birth place of Hindu god Krishna.