Colours rule streets as people celebrate Holi

06_holi_jpg_2333287fForeigners along with locals celebrate Holi festival in Mumbai on Friday

The festival of colours was celebrated with traditional zeal and zest as people smeared ‘gulal’, splashed colour baloons on each other and exchanged sweets

Colours ruled the streets on Friday as people of all ages celebrated Holi across the country and joined the revelry applying ‘gulal’ on each other, gorging on sweets and singing and dancing to songs and drum beats.

While the celebrations were mostly incident-free, two persons lost their lives in Bihar and two others were killed in Uttar Pradesh during or after Holi celebrations.

People embraced each other wishing ‘Happy Holi’ as unseen hands squirted them with a well-timed coloured water spray.

Water-filled balloons were lobbed from rooftops and balconies as cries of ‘Holi hai’ reverberated the streets.

The festival, the harvest festival which heralds the advent of spring, is celebrated to commemorate the Hindu mythological tale of Prahlada emerging unscathed from the flames despite being drawn into the fire by demoness Holika.

The Hindu month of ‘Phagun’ ended on Thursday with ‘Holika Dahan’ and ‘Chaita’ starting on Friday.

However, tragedy struck when two boys — Satyam Kumar (10) and Ayodhya Singh (12) — drowned while taking bath in a pond after ‘Holika dahan’ at a village in Chenari in Bihar’s Rohtas district on Thursday night. The bodies were recovered during the wee hours today and sent for post mortem, Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Sasaram Alakh Niranjan Chaudhary said.

Celebrations in Bihar was mostly peaceful, except sporadic incidents of clashes between revellers in which a few persons suffered minor injuries.

In Uttar Pradesh, the festival was celebrated amid tight security. Two persons were killed during Holi revelry in Varanasi and Etah districts. Ramsurat (60) was beaten to death in Sarnath area of Varanasi district after he smeared colour on a woman. In Etah, one Pooran Lodhi (55) was shot dead in Mahavirganj area during the revelry.

In Delhi, the festival of colours was celebrated with traditional zeal and zest as people smeared ‘gulal’, splashed colour baloons on each other and exchanged sweets as a mark of bonhomie. As arterial roads wore a deserted look, public places, housing colonies and special venues witnessed a riot of colours with both young and old taking part in the revelry.

Groups of young men and women took to the streets to celebrate Holi with neighbours and friends. People also visited friends and relatives, gifted ‘gujia’ (a traditional sweet), besides smearing ‘gulal’ on each other’s faces.

Several five-star hotels, clubs and restaurants in the city also lured patrons as they organised rain dance parties and with Holi snacks and buffets, attracting big crowds.

Children enjoyed the day most as they sprayed coloured water using water guns and hurled water-filled balloons on people from their rooftops.

Delhi Police made elaborate arrangements to ensure a safe and joyous Holi. Police personnel were deployed across the city. Police had issued warning against hooliganism in the guise of revelry.

Over 200 special checking teams of traffic police along with PCR vans and local police were deployed this time to check incidents of drink and drive, speeding and reckless driving. Special teams with alcometers and 20 interceptors were also be deployed at major intersections to detect and prosecute violators.

Police had also positioned men armed with cameras who video graphed offenders so that if they cannot be prosecuted on the spot due to rush, challans can be sent at home.

The festival was also celebrated with gaiety and fervour in Punjab, Haryana and their common capital Chandigarh as revellers took to streets armed with sprinklers since morning.

Holi was celebrated with traditional fervour in the Pink city with enthusiastic revellers and people thronging the streets. People danced to the tune of drum beats and splashed each other with colour.

Foreign tourists celebrated the festival at Khasakothi Hotel where special arrangements were made for them by the Department of Tourism.

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