Holi 2014: India's Festival Of Colors Gets An Early Start In Villages All Over The Country [PHOTOS]

By @lukeydukey l.villapaz@ibtimes.com on

Brightly colored powders are flying across India as 2014 Holi celebrations begin.

Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors, doesn’t officially start until Monday, but people in some areas, such as villages in Uttar Pradesh in the north, have already begun throwing colored powder and dyed water into the air for Lathmar Holi.

Holi’s origins can be traced to Hindu legends, including the tale of Radha and Krishna, along with the coming of spring.

According to the legend, the dark-complexioned Krishna was jealous of Radha’s fair complexion. One day, after Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about the color difference between him and Radha, his mother suggested he color Radha’s face whatever color he wanted. Taking Yashoda’s advice, he colored Radha’s face to make her look like him.

To this day, traces of the playful prank played by Krishna on Radha can be seen all over India as women, men and children toss the brightly colored powders and dyed water all over each other in celebration of Holi.

Take a closer look at some of the early Holi and Lathmar Holi celebrations in photos below.

Lathmar holi Nandgaon March 10
A man daubed in colored powder poses for a picture at a temple during "Lathmar Holi" at village Nandgaon, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 10, 2014. Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Lathmar holi Colored Powder Yellow Barsana March 9
Hindu devotees throw colored powder at each other as they celebrate "Lathmar Holi" at the village of Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 9, 2014. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
Lathmar Holi Nandgaon Color water  March 10
A boy sprays colored water inside a temple during "Lathmar Holi" at village Nandgaon in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 10, 2014. Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Hindu Lathmar Holi Barsana March 9
A Hindu devotee with his face daubed in colours looks on while taking part during "Lathmar Holi" at the village of Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 9, 2014. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
Lathmar Holi Dance Man Nandgaon March 10
A man daubed in colored powder dances at a temple during "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon village, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 10, 2014. Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Lathmar Holi
People dance as others spray colored water on them during the "Lathmar Holi" at village Nandgaon, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 10, 2014. Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Holi Kolkata March 12
A student of Rabindra Bharati University reacts as her fellow students apply colored powder to her face during celebrations for Holi, also known as the festival of colors in Kolkata March 12, 2014. Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Holi Vrindavan Woman March 13
A Hindu woman daubed in colors takes part in Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Holi Kolkata 2 March 12
A student of Rabindra Bharati University reacts as her fellow students apply colored powder to her face during celebrations for Holi, also known as the festival of colors in Kolkata, March 12, 2014. Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Holi Vrindavan Crowd Spray March 13
Hindu devotees react as priests (unseen) throw colored powder on them during Holi celebrations at the Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
Holi Vrindavan Crowd March 13
Colored beam of rays are seen as Hindu priests (unseen) throw colored powder at the devotees during Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Holi Vrindavan Cloud March 13
Hindu priests throws colored powder at the devotees during Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Holi Vrindavan Crowd Water March 13
A Hindu devotee reacts as priests (unseen) spray colored water on him during Holi celebrations at the Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
Holi Hindu Priest Vrindavan March 13
A Hindu priest throws colored powder at the devotees during Holi celebrations at Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Holi Vrindavan Crowd 2 March 13
Hindu devotees daubed in colours sing hymns during Holi celebrations at the Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 13, 2014. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
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