India celebrates spring with festival of colors

FILE - In this Thursday, March 5, 2015 file photo, people smear colored powder on the face of a girl as they celebrate Holi in Kolkata, India. Photo: Bikas Das, AP / AP
FILE - In this Thursday, March 5, 2015 file photo, people smear colored powder on the face of a girl as they celebrate Holi in Kolkata, India. Photo: Bikas Das, AP / AP
FILE – In this Thursday, March 5, 2015 file photo, people smear colored powder on the face of a girl as they celebrate Holi in Kolkata, India. Photo: Bikas Das, AP

NEW DELHI (AP) — Holi, India’s joyful and colorful celebration of the arrival of spring combined with several religious legends, has long ceased to be only a Hindu festival.

On Friday, the streets and lanes across most of India turned into a large playground where people of all faiths threw colored powder and water at each other.

Children are free to toss water balloons at unsuspecting passers-by.

The celebration begins the night before Holi, when large bonfires are lit, to mark the victory of good over evil.