It’s that time of year again when the streets of India fill with colored powder and people celebrating Holi, the holiday that kicks off spring with a huge party. The festival of colors gives Indians an opportunity to temporarily forget social customs and instead “let loose,” according to religionfacts.com. Though Holi doesn’t start until Thursday, the bash has already begun in many parts of the country.

One legend of Holi centers around young god Krishna, who was mischievous and jealous of goddess Radha’s skin. Krishna, at his mother’s suggestion, used powder to color Radha’s face, and it became a tradition, as holifestival.org explains. Another origin story focuses on the prince Prahlad, who was fooled into sitting into a fire by his aunt, Holika. Prahlad didn’t burn, and so now revelers light bonfires for Holi to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

GettyImages-516084464 Bags of colorful powder ready to be used for the Lathmar Holi festival at the Radha Rani temple in Barsana, India, last week. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-517034352 Bangladeshi students throw colored powder during Holi celebrations at the Fine Arts Institute of Dhaka University on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-517030858 An Indian student takes part in an event to celebrate the Holi festival in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

RTSBUX1 Hindu devotees are sprayed with colors outside a temple during Holi celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Today, people recognize Holi by drinking the marijuana beverage bhang, giving gifts, throwing gulal powder and using the refrain “bura na mano holi hai,” which means “don’t mind, it is Holi,” the Huffington Post reported. They also soak each other with pichkari water guns and water balloons, though this year celebrities and local leaders have urged partiers to have a dry Holi that doesn’t waste the already scarce water.

“The joys of Holi knows no bounds and the festival is filled with so much fun and frolic. I don’t play much with colors, but I completely enjoy the sight of people drenched with water and gulal,” TV star Shakti Arora told the Hindustan Times. But he added: “As a message to all my fans, have a safe and happy Holi and please save water.”

GettyImages-517030210 A student takes part in an event to celebrate the Holi festival in Kolkata, India, on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-517029464 A student takes part in an event to celebrate the Holi festival in Kolkata, India, on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-517029456 A student takes part in an event to celebrate the Holi festival in Kolkata, India, on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

You can get in on the colored action even if you’re not in India this week. New York City has Holi celebrations this Saturday as well as on April 23 and 30, according to DNAinfo. Washington, D.C., will host a festival of colors on April 9. In the past, it’s even proved popular among Mormon students in Utah.

“When you put colors on your face you cannot make out one from another who the person is,” student Sonal Yadav told the Washington Post in 2014. “Really, it’s the colors of brotherhood, love and friendship.”

GettyImages-516440758 Revelers covered in colored powder sit inside a temple during prayers held as part of the Lathmar Holi celebrations in the village of Nandgaon, India, last week. Photo: Getty Images

RTSBWGP Children cover each other in colored powder during Holi celebrations in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

GettyImages-516155692 A reveler covered in colored powder sits inside a temple as he and other prays during the Lathmar Holi celebrations in the village of Barsana, India, last week. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-516440642 A crowd of villagers address women during the Lathmar Holi celebrations in the village of Barsana, India, last week. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-516155344 A reveler covered in colored powder poses during the Lathmar Holi celebrations in the village of Barsana, India, last Thursday. Photo: Getty Images

RTSBFZ0 Widows daubed in colors dance as they take part in the Holi celebrations organized by nongovernmental organization Sulabh International at a temple at Vrindavan, India, Monday. Photo: Reuters