After two years of muted festivities due to COVID-19, people came out of their homes in large numbers on Friday to celebrate Holi in Madhya Pradesh with traditional fervour in an environment largely free of curbs due to an ebbing third wave of the pandemic.
People gathered in big numbers and sprayed colours mixed with water, applied ‘gulal’ on each other’s faces and later distributed sweets as cries of 'Holi hai' reverberated the streets.
For the last two years, coronavirus had played spoilsport on Holi and forced citizens to remain indoors to check the spread of the infection. Revellers in groups were seen singing as well as dancing to the tune of the famous Bollywood song 'Rang Barse' and throwing colours at each other across the state to celebrate the festival that marks the triumph of good over evil.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had recently asked people to celebrate Holi with pomp and gaiety in view of a drastic fall in daily COVID-19 cases.
On the eve of Holi, Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang had slammed the message to save water on Holi as an attack on Hindu festivals.
According to an estimate, 4,125 quintals of 'gaukashth' (made of cow dung) was sold from centres in Bhopal for the 'Holika Dahan' ritual (symbolic burning of Holika, a demoness and sister of King Hiranyakashipu) on Thursday. This positive development came amid a campaign to promote 'gaukashth' for 'Holika Dahan' in order to save trees.
The Chief Minister also used the cow dung cakes to burn Holika, a ritual that symbolizes the victory of good over evil. No untoward incident has been reported from the state so far.
With PTI inputs.