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Indian Hindu widows throw flower petals and coloured powder during Holi celebrations at the Gopinath temple in India. A few years ago this joyful celebration was forbidden for Hindu widows.

Manish Swarup/The Associated Press

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Widows daubed in colours dance as they take part in the Holi celebrations organised by non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a temple at Vrindavan, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

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A widow daubed in colours holds a stick as she takes part in the Holi celebrations in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Traditionally in Hindu culture, widows are expected to renounce earthly pleasure so they do not usually celebrate Holi.

Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

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An Indian Hindu widow lies on a bed of flower petals during Holi celebrations at the Gopinath temple, 180 kilometres (112 miles) south-east of New Delhi, India.

Manish Swarup/The Associated Press

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Indian Hindu widows throw flower petals and coloured powder during Holi celebrations.

Manish Swarup/The Associated Press

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Indian Hindu widows throw coloured powder and flower petals on Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of non-governmental organization Sulabh International, during Holi celebrations at the Gopinath temple, 180 kilometres (112 miles) south-east of New Delhi, India.

Manish Swarup/The Associated Press

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Locals and Indian Hindu widows throw flower petals and colored powder during Holi celebrations at the Gopinath temple in India.

Manish Swarup/The Associated Press

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Traditionally like hundreds of thousands of observant Hindu women they would have been expected to live out their days in quiet worship, dressed only in white, their very presence being considered inauspicious for all religious festivities.

Manish Swarup/The Associated Press

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Widows daubed in colours sing religious songs as they take part in the Holi celebrations.

Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

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An Indian Hindu widow smeared with colours sits and watches others playing during Holi celebrations.

Manish Swarup/The Associated Press

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