This week saw Hindus in India and across the world celebrating the Holi Festival of Colours. It marks the beginning of spring and celebrates the legend of Holika and Prahlad in a mass party where participants throw powder in all colours of the rainbow at each other (something said to be started by Krishna as a young boy when he threw coloured water over the gopis (milkmaids). The result is pretty messy but incredibly photogenic, so here are some of our favourite photos from India during Holi Festival 2014.

A Hindu priest throws coloured powder over worshippers at the Radha Krishna temple in Kolkata, West Bengal:

One reveller poses for a photo in Bhubaneswar, Orissa:

Dancing in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh:

Covered in metallic paint, these Indian men pose for photographs in Siliguri, West Bengal:

Indian children spray coloured water in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh:

Crowds are sprayed with water and powder at the Swaminarayan Temple at Kalupur in AhmedabadGujarat:

Yellow powder shrouds those celebrating in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh:

Breaking tradition, widows living in Vrindavan – who are usually seen as outcasts and forced to refrain from celebrating Holi – celebrate the festival at Meera Sahabhagini Sadan ashram for the first time:

This Indian man poses for a photo in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh:

Pink powder is thrown at celebrations in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh: