Soaring temperatures fail to dampen the spirits of revellers
People in Andhra Pradesh erupted in a riot of colours on Wednesday as part of Holi celebrations. Unmindful of rising temperature and soaring humidity, people, especially youngsters, soaked in the festival spirit by greeting friends and fellow revellers by smearing colourful gulal on their faces. Known as a festival of colours and love, this festival comes as a platform to forgive and forget disputes, create bonds and strengthen relationships.
In Vijayawada city, members of various organisations got together to share the spirit of joy that the festival ushers in.
Members of the Andhra Pradesh unit of All-India Banjara Seva Sangh assembled at Katakam Chenchaiah, Lakshmikanthamma function hall at Satyanarayapuram to indulge in collective revelry.
Lighting of the traditional fire marked commencement of the celebrations. The members then paid tributes to Sant Sevalal, a deity of the Banjaras. It was followed by a cultural programme of song, dance and skits and culminated in a community lunch. Nearly 500 members of the community joined the celebrations.
“We have been celebrating Holi in a traditional style in this city for last 10 years. People from the Banjara community are spread across the country. Regardless of the place, we are settled in, people of our community never miss the Holi revelry,” said B. Sivaram Naik, president of the State unit of the Sangh.
Holi is a multi-religious, multi-faceted and largely popular festival celebrated by people of different communities in their own style.
Students of colleges and schools formed independent groups and played with colours in residential localities.
Boys of Syed Appalaswamy Degree College at Chittinagar, grabbed the opportunity to forge a stronger bond. After drenching one another in colours of camaraderie, they descended on the college campus to shake off the humidity impact under open showers. Students of Potti Sriramulu Chalavadi Mallikharjuna Rao College of Engineering and Technology, K.L. University and several other educational institutes were seen partaking in the festivity.
Students of Lingayas Institute of Management and Technology (LIMAT) played the festival of colours, emotions and happiness on the college campus. The best part of the celebration was that the staff and faculty joined the students in sharing the festival of joy.
Members of the Marwari community in the city performed festival-related puja on Wednesday and are gearing up to play with colours on Thursday.
The celebrations reached a crescendo in Guntur, with youngsters smearing colours on each other’s faces. Moving through lanes of Brodiepet, Arundelpet and parts of Lalapet to avoid cops, youngsters had fun splashing colours. Families gathered at Satyanarayana Swamy Temple in R. Agraharam for a massive get-together and drew plans for revelry.
The festival-eve started on a conventional note with a visit to the temple. Newborn babies were brought to the temple for a ceremony called ‘Dhood’.
In the evening, they burnt Holika, a ritual practice since ancient times. The real celebration will take place on Thursday when youngsters would be seen zooming on their bikes, painting the town in a splash of colours. “We buy synthetic colours in the local market two days in advance and use them dry and with water,” says Vikas Jain, a pan broker in Brodipet.
Sweetmeats like moong dal seera, lapsi and wheat flakes are relished on the occasion. “It used to be far more vibrant in the past. We used to have a large tub of coloured water, where men and women splashed colours at each other,” recalls Mr. Jain.
In Ongole, the young and the old celebrated the festival with great enthusiasm.
Revellers, particularly the youth, went around town on motorcycles and exchanged wishes. Businessmen from Rajasthan, who have made Ongole their second home, indulged in merry-making on the busy Gandhi Road and Trunk Road.
In Chittoor, residents along Neeva River performed special pujas at the Hanuman temple and sprinkled colours of revelry.
Several families from the Rajput and Jain community celebrated the occasion with gusto. An impressive gathering of men from the Rajput community participated in Kamadhahanam at the arch of Shiva Temple on the banks of Neeva river. Orginiser Bhim Singh said the event will continue till early hours of Thursday.