Kolkata: West Bengal's rich culture was on display here on Thursday as people dressed in saffron smeared each other with organic coloured powder, danced to the rhythm of Rabindrasangeet and joined in cultural programmes observing Holi, known here as Dol Jatra.
The highpoint of the festivities were seen at Shantiniketan, where the tradition of 'Basant Utsav' (spring festival) was reintroduced by Noble laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore at Visva Bharati University, Bolpur, about 165 km from here.
Men and women, boys and girls, immersed themselves in a lively ambience of music, dance and chanting of hymns in the serene environs of Shantiniketan.
Dressed in kurtas and T-shirts with the words 'Laglo Je Dol' (the Dol purnima has begun), residents and foreigners enjoyed every bit of the gaiety.
In Kolkata as the morning progressed, youngsters moved around their neighbourhoods in groups, throwing water missiles and smearing coloured powder (abir) on one another. People in the metropolis exchanged sweets and pleasantries.
Strains of Rabindrasangeet added to the zeal.
Children also dressed up in traditional attire of kurta-pajamas, sarees and sprinkled colours.
Denizens relished sweets like gujiyas and beverages like thandai and lassi.
At Nadia district's Mayapur, about 130 km from here, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated the day as the birth anniversary of 16th century Vaishnav saint and social reformer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Devotes placed idols of Radha-Krishna on decorated palanquins. They also offered prayers to Radha-Krishna on this occasion of Dol Purnima (Dol is celebrated on a full moon day).
Thousands of people from within the country and abroad assembled at Mayapur on the occasion and participated in kirtans (devotional songs).