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Spring is no spring in India if it isn’t heralded by a nationwide burst of colours. And today (March 02) is that day.

Vast swathes of the country are celebrating the Hindu festival of Holi, marking the end of winter. Millions swarming into public spaces, splashing and smearing powders of myriad hues on each other and everyone else—not sparing even complete strangers.

In the run up to Holi, vendors start stocking a range oranges, blues, reds, and greens while families prepare traditional delicacies like gujia, a sweet fried dumpling made with semolina.

Here’s a selection of photos of Holi preparations and celebrations across India this year:

EPA-EFE/Sanjeev Gupta
Colour vendors in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, on Feb. 27.
EPA-EFE/Harish Tyagi
Widows celebrating Holi in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. Many Hindu widows are usually forced to live ascetic lives, but over the past few years, women, particularly in this town, have been breaking this centuries-old tradition.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Widows dancing in Vrindavan.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Celebrations inside a temple in Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Inside a Nandgaon temple.
Reuters/Anuwar Hazarika
Colour powder vendors in Guwahati, Assam.
AP Photo/Bikas D
Holi revellers in Kolkata, West Bengal.
AP Photo/Bikas Das
A woman joins a chariot procession of Lord Krishna in Kolkata as part o the festivities.
EPA-EFE/Piyal Adhikary
A tourist takes in the colours of Holi in Kolkata.
EPA-EFE/Sanjeev Gupta
College girls in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
EPA-EFE/Jaipal Singh
College students in Jammu.
Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri
A student of Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, West Bengal.