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In pictures: Plenty of colour but no masks during Holi celebrations in South Asia

Revellers play with colours and dance in merriment, paying little regard to rising coronavirus cases in the region.
Updated 29 Mar, 2021 12:31am

Masks were a rare sight and social distancing virtually non-existent as revellers in Pakistan, India and other South Asian countries celebrated the Hindu spring festival of Holi with colours, dance and bonfires on Sunday.

In Karachi, Lahore and cities across northern Sindh, members of the Hindu community sprayed red, yellow and silver powder on each other and danced in celebration, even as authorities sounded the alarm over the third Covid-19 wave in Pakistan.

In New Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere, there were bans or restrictions on Holi, which would usually prompt large gatherings. But despite the curbs, hundreds of people gathered for a Holi ritual in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

The situation was similar in Nepal, where thousands were celebrating outdoors in the capital Kathmandu despite authorities urging people to celebrate the festival indoors only in view of Covid-19.

The ancient Hindu festival marks the arrival of spring and a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

Revellers play with 'Gulal', a coloured powder used in Holi celebrations, in Karachi on March 28. — AFP
Revellers play with 'Gulal', a coloured powder used in Holi celebrations, in Karachi on March 28. — AFP

Hindu devotees walk around a bonfire during a ritual known as “Holika Dahan” which is part of the Holi festival celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, March 28. — Reuters
Hindu devotees walk around a bonfire during a ritual known as “Holika Dahan” which is part of the Holi festival celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, March 28. — Reuters

Pakistanis dance to celebrate Holi at a temple in Lahore, Sunday, March 28. — AP
Pakistanis dance to celebrate Holi at a temple in Lahore, Sunday, March 28. — AP

Nepalese people celebrate Holi in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, March 28. — AP
Nepalese people celebrate Holi in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, March 28. — AP

Rakesh Tikait, a leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union, carries farm law copies to burn them in a bonfire during a ritual known as “Holika Dahan”, as part of Holi celebrations, at the site of a protest against the new farm laws, at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad, India, March 28. — Reuters
Rakesh Tikait, a leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union, carries farm law copies to burn them in a bonfire during a ritual known as “Holika Dahan”, as part of Holi celebrations, at the site of a protest against the new farm laws, at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad, India, March 28. — Reuters

Revellers dance during Holi celebrations in Karachi on Sunday. — AFP
Revellers dance during Holi celebrations in Karachi on Sunday. — AFP

Revellers play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations in Karachi on March 28. — AFP
Revellers play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations in Karachi on March 28. — AFP

Hindu watch a bonfire during a ritual known as “Holika Dahan” which is part of the Holi festival celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, March 28. — Reuters
Hindu watch a bonfire during a ritual known as “Holika Dahan” which is part of the Holi festival celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, March 28. — Reuters

Revellers celebrate Holi at a temple in Lahore, Sunday, March 28. — AP
Revellers celebrate Holi at a temple in Lahore, Sunday, March 28. — AP

Indians smear coloured powder on each other as they celebrate Holi in Indian-occupied Jammu, Sunday, March 28. — AP
Indians smear coloured powder on each other as they celebrate Holi in Indian-occupied Jammu, Sunday, March 28. — AP

Revellers play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations in Lahore on March 28. — AFP
Revellers play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations in Lahore on March 28. — AFP

People are seen near a giant effigy resembling the Covid-19 coronavirus to be burned as part of Holika Dahan, in Mumbai on March 28. — AFP
People are seen near a giant effigy resembling the Covid-19 coronavirus to be burned as part of Holika Dahan, in Mumbai on March 28. — AFP

Revellers play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations in Lahore on March 28. — AFP
Revellers play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations in Lahore on March 28. — AFP


Header image: People play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations at a temple in Amritsar, India on March 28. — AFP