They came dressed in white - and left the colour of a rainbow.

Thousands of people will be cleaning out their cars tonight after spending the day at the Holi Festival of Colours.

People of all ages danced and threw coloured powders - made from corn starch - at each other as part of the event, a Hindu celebration originating from India and Nepal.

Entry was free at the Hare Krishna Temple in Kumeu, west Auckland, but punters could purchase their colours at $5 a bag.


Organisers said the colours would eventually wash out of clothes but recommended not to wear designer gear and to bring something to cover the car seats for the ride home.

Similar festivals are held around the world. The smoke and alcohol-free New Zealand event is run by Auckland's Hare Krishna movement.