From the lavish scenes of Bollywood to the rich spectrum of their cuisine, no other country in the world celebrates colours like India.
So it's no surprise that spring is being greeted with a festival celebrating just that - colour.
The Lathmar Holi was being celebrated in villages across India today, as thousands of men and women showered themselves in brilliantly coloured powders and millions of flower petals.
Spring colours: Men daubed in coloured powder celebrate the Lathmar Holi, also known as the festival of colours, at Nandgaon village near the northern Indian city of Mathura yesterday
Celebration: A man in Nandgaon covered in paint. The festival is held all over India
Love: A woman with a bamboo stick, or lathi, pretends to beat a man, who is protecting himself with a shield. Legend has it that Radha beat Krishna out of anger that he was not living with her
The legend behind the festival claims that it is closely associated with Lord Krishna and his principle consort and childhood friend, Radha. Men in traditional dress take on the role of gops (friends of Krishna), while women play gopis (friends of Radha).
The men throw the coloured powders and flowers on the women, who fight back by pretending to beat them with bamboo.
It is claimed that the Hindu deity Krishna, who was dark in colour, was jealous of the fair-coloured Radha. He pestered his foster mother Yasodha about it so much that, fed up, she told him he could change Radha's skin by sprinkling her with colours.
Rain of colours: Men in the village close their eyes as more colour is showered down on them
Brilliant: The festival is part of a welcoming of spring
Krishna and his shepherd friends visited Radha and her cowherd girls on this day and teased her by throwing colours at her. She and the girls responded by chasing them away with the sticks, or lathis.
The bamboo sticks are said to be an expression of Radha's love - she and the cowherd girls are angry that Krishna and his friends do not live with them all the time.
The Lathmar Holi celebration at Barsana in Mathura is the most famous.
Hindu women with the bamboo sticks, or lathis, they will use to pretend to beat the men with
The men don't seem to mind their clothes being covered in the colours
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