People celebrate spring festival with splash of colours
New Delhi: Holi, the festival of colours that heralds the spring, was celebrated in Delhi yesterday as people splashed colours on each other, distributed sweets and danced to the beats of drums.
Authorities said no incidents were reported anywhere in the capital until the afternoon. Police had urged people to celebrate the festival with "sensitivity towards others".
In Pictures: Holi celebrations around the world
"It is absolutely peaceful," a Delhi Police spokesperson told IANS, adding that barricades had been set up at many places to check trouble.
Traffic policemen were also deployed in large numbers on Delhi's roads to prevent drink driving.
Whoops of joy
Delhi was wrapped in festive colour with yellows, reds, greens and purple as people sprayed gulal and coloured water on each other and distributed sweets to celebrate.
Elders hugged and smeared "abir" and "gulal" on each other's faces.
Children, armed with water guns or pitchkaris filled with coloured water, did what they do best - played pranks by spraying coloured water and hurled water-filled balloons at passers-by from the safety of rooftops and balconies of their houses shouting "Holi hai!".
Families played Holi in their front lawns or gardens, splashing buckets of water on each other to whoops of joy, and screams from the unsuspecting victims as the cold water caught them unawares.
In Mumbai, millions celebrated Holi with traditional fervour and gaiety.
But, unfortunately, ongoing school and college exams dampened the Holi plans for many youngsters.
The celebrations started on Saturday night with the traditional ‘lolika' bonfires and continued until the early hours, only to resume on Sunday morning as people came out of their homes to splash each other with colours. Compared to last year, the celebrations were a bit subdued among the youngsters. To avoid disturbing the students, many housing complexes and societies refrained from playing loud music. Police maintained strict vigil all over the city.
Film stars, celebrities, business personalities, politicians and others enjoyed the festival with gatherings at their homes in and around Mumbai.
Mumbai North Lok Sabha MP Sanjay Nirupam organised a get-together at his home with cultural and culinary extravaganzas, while Maharashtra Navnirman Sena vice-president Dr Vageesh Saraswat held a ‘Bhojpuri Holi' at his house.
Amid the celebrations, residents of Mumbai got stern messages from the civic authorities and the Mumbai Police.
While the BMC banned tree cutting for Holi, police warned of rigorous jail terms for those caught throwing water balloons. People from different communities celebrated Holi together in other major cities such as Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Kolhapur.
Social message: Procession taken out
Hundreds of Hindus and Muslims of Lucknow celebrated Holi together by taking out the decades-old procession ‘Holi Baraat' — to send out a message of peace and brotherhood yesterday.
Accompanied by decorated horse-drawn chariots, the revellers danced to the beats of drums amid ecstatic shouts of ‘Holi Hai!'.
Those seated on the chariots threw gulal or coloured powder as the procession passed through crowded city areas. ‘Holi Baraat' is one of the oldest processions in the city. It's just not a procession but a festive mix of communities to spreads the message of brotherhood,' Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma told reporters here. Muslims in the Chowk locality traditionally make a stockpile of rose petals and garlands on Holi eve.