A celebration that encompasses a tumultuous spectrum of colored powder, scented water, and sheer exhilaration, the “Holi” festival, shown here in an image that looks more like a painting than a photo, taken in Heidelberg, Germany on August 12, 2012, is one of many that have crossed over in time and place to Europe (and around the world) from their homelands in South Asia. An ancient commemoration that usually welcomes the beginning of spring for those of the Hindu faith, Holi has been embraced in several German cities, where revelers immerse themselves — and each other — in a prismatic array of pigments as part of events that have come to be known as “Festivals of Color.” (The largest in the western hemisphere takes place in Spanish Fork, Utah, where this year’s festivities drew over 80,000 in March.)

(Photo: Fredrik von Erichsen /AFP/ Getty Images)