Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
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Maharashtra Revels In Holi Colours As Covid-19 Cases Drop

In the coastal Konkan region, where Holi is celebrated with great fervour, the festival was marked in a traditional manner after a two-year hiatus.

Holi celebration in Mumbai.(Representational image)
Holi celebration in Mumbai.(Representational image) PTI photo

Holi was celebrated in a sprightly manner in Maharashtra on Friday for the first time in two years as a vast improvement in the coronavirus situation prompted people to come out of their homes for the festival of colours and indulge in revelry. The COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 and resultant restrictions had cast a grim shadow on celebrations of all festivals in the state for the past two years.

Things were different this year as citizens were seen celebrating the festival with traditional fervour and enthusiasm. Revellers splashed bright colours and applied 'gulal' to each other and danced to drum beats and music enthusiastically in the state, including in cities like Mumbai, Pune and Jalgaon.

In the coastal Konkan region, where Holi is celebrated with great fervour, the festival was marked in a traditional manner after a two-year hiatus.

“The people lived in a spell of fear caused by COVID-19 for two years. But this year, the situation has improved for good and hence, all friends and families are in a festive mood again,” said Uday Singh Bandal, a resident of Dombivli near Mumbai.

Jayendra Pawari, a resident of Jaigad in coastal Ratnagiri district, seconded Bandal. “Holi/Shimga is celebrated on a huge scale in our part of the world. We missed badly for two years the festivity which is so integral to our lives. But we are happy this year,” Pawari added.

In Mumbai, former mayor Kishori Pednekar celebrated the festival by applying colours to people. Shiv Sena MLA Bhaskar Jadhav took part in the 'palkhi' (palanquin) dance in Chiplun in Ratnagiri district to mark the festivities. 

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole celebrated the festival with family members in Nagpur district. BJP MLA Ram Kadam, who has been a critic of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), burnt a pyre of wood (Holika) in Mumbai's Ghatkopar to protest against the state government over various issues and engaged in sloganeering against it.

Earlier in the day, greeting the people on the occasion of Holi, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray put out a tweet hoping that the festival brings “happiness, peace and colours of prosperity in their lives”.

Maharashtra has witnessed a sharp decline in daily COVID-19 cases of late. The state government, however, on Thursday urged the people to celebrate the festival without congregating on a big scale and insisted on observing COVID-appropriate behaviour to ensure the disease does not spread.

Maharashtra reported 229 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the state's overall count of infections to 78,72,032. The state has reported 1,43,762 deaths due to the disease so far (till March 17).

With PTI inputs.

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