Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, is being celebrated across India.
The annual festival comes at the end of the winter season and marks the beginning of spring.
The biggest celebrations take place in the temples of the northern town of Vrindavan where, according to legend, the Hindu god Krishna played Holi with his consort Radha.
Hindus in Nepal, the Pakistani city of Karachi, the US and UK, are also celebrating the festival.
In Indian cities and towns, groups of people are roaming the streets coloured in reds, greens and pinks.
In Vrindavan temples, celebrations continue for days - devotees pray to the deity as coloured powder is thrown on them. They are also sprayed with jets of coloured water.
The festival is hugely popular with the young and students begin the colourful celebrations several days before the true festivities begin.
In the capital, Delhi, all shops and officers are closed and a large number of policemen have been deployed to keep peace.
Sellers of coloured powder and water canons do brisk business during the festival.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani said there was no festival like Holi where people of all strata of society came together to share the fun.
"Few countries in the world have similar festivals which can be used to spread happiness," he said.
The festival kicked off on Wednesday night with bonfires lit outside homes and on street corners.
Holi is also widely celebrated in Nepal which has a large Hindu population. Many tourists also joined in the festivities on the streets of the capital, Kathmandu.