Festival of Colors: Holi week kicks off as Pakistan grants official status (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

© Shailesh Andrade
Holi, perhaps the world’s most vibrant holiday, kicked off this week ahead of the official March 23 celebration. The Hindu Festival of Colors features dancing, singing, and showering millions of people with liquid rainbows.

#holi festival India 2016

A video posted by Roozbeh Roozbehani (@roozbeh_roozbehani) on

Despite decades of tense relations with India, the government of neighboring Pakistan announced a resolution this week recognizing the Hindu festivals of Holi and Diwali as public holidays.

Holi has become increasingly popular among non-Hindus in recent years. South Asians from all faiths have been embracing the ancient festival as a sign of unity between cultures and religions. After all, who doesn’t love color, except maybe the Indian goths?

@style_virgo in her #indianGothic look Retouch :julia #portraitsbySudansh #indianGothicSeries

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Celebrations kicked off this year in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with a festival called Lathmar Holi where women use bamboo sticks to playfully hit men, who in turn tease and cover them in bright-colored powders.

In the UK, students took advantage of the dry weather to embrace the vibrant customs of Holi, sharing the occasion with friends and family.

After. #holi #universityofessex #unilife #potd #selfie #goodday

A photo posted by Tanya (@itstanyabhat) on

Holi festival 🌼 the celebration of the beginning of spring #holi #festival #UOE #uni #essex #spring #friends

A photo posted by Jade Talbot ☀️ (@jadeet95) on

Revelers in the Philippines and the US donned all white attire for their parties.

Russia is set to celebrate when it's a little warmer to be sprayed by water, with the ‘Holi paints festival’ in June.

15 events in Russia you can’t miss in 2016Holi paints festivalJune, MoscowThe spring holiday of Holi originates in...

Posted by Anastasia Travel on Friday, 26 February 2016