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The festival of Holi is easy on the pocket. All one needs is a packet of gulaal (coloured powder), buckets of water, friends and family; and perhaps some music and alcohol.

Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring and harvest season. In places associated with the Hindu god Krishna, Holi is traditionally played over several days with revellers flinging coloured powder and water at each other.

[To view a slideshow on Holi, click here]

While the rest of India’s capital city went about its daily business on the eve of Holi, its biggest wholesale market Sadar Bazaar was teeming with last-minute shoppers stocking up on colour sprays and pichkaris (water jets).

Vendors wooed passers-by with multi-hued pouches and sacks of gulaal as customers haggled for the best bargains.