Drenched in a spirit of bonhomie, people celebrated Holi across the country today by applying colours on each other, savouring sweets and exchanging greetings to send out a message of cultural harmony.
While the celebrations were largely incident-free, two brothers in Muzaffarnagar were injured after being allegedly shot at. About 70 persons were also reported injured in Holi-related incidents in Jaipur.
From morning, youths and children revelled in the streets, daubing friends and family members with colours and also savoured traditional homemade dishes like ‘malpua’, ‘dahi bada’, ‘gujiya’.
People in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also soaked in the festive spirit and enjoyed the occasion by dancing and singing folks songs.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have also extended Holi greeting to the people, saying the festival symbolises the spirit of tolerance, harmony and prosperity.
In the national capital, Delhiites smeared friends and families with colours and threw water balloons on passers-by to enjoy the day which remained pleasant weather-wise.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi celebrated Holi at AICC headquarters and also greeted people on the occasion.
The party president and vice president were at 24 Akbar Road, the party headquarters, for about 15 minutes.
“I convey my greetings to all people on the occasion of Holi. The festival of colours reflects the diversity in the country, which is a symbol of unity in diversity,” Rahul said in Hindi on Twitter.
At the Wagah border, Border Security Force personnel and Pakistan Rangers exchanged sweets to mark the festive occasion, which carries the message of peace and harmony.
While Dhulehndi (use of colours after Holi bonfire) in prominent temples of Radha Ballabh, Radha Raman and Bankey Behari was played yesterday, many temples celebrated the festival today.
People in Mathura also geared up to celebrate ‘Huranga’, one of the last prominent celebrations of Holi, tomorrow at the Dauji Maharaja Temple.
In Punjab, joyous spirit pervaded the streets as people from all walks of life celebrated Holi with traditional fervour and gaiety.
The festival of colours was also celebrated in Haryana, though it remained subdued at some places, especially in rural areas of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani and Sonipat districts, in wake of recent violence during Jat quota agitation.
In Jammu and Kashmir, people in the Valley smeared colours on their family members and friends and distributed sweets.
Security forces posted in the Valley also celebrated the festival. Paramilitary and army troopers gathered in their camps and danced to the beats of popular Holi songs besides smearing colours on each other.]
The festive fervour was on display in several parts of the Jaipur also as people came out of their homes and danced to the beat of drums, enjoying the festival of colours and traditional delicacies.
For Vridavan widows, the occasion brought good news as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav gave “holi gift” to them by announcing a number of facilities including RO water purifying system and solar power plant.