New Delhi [India], March 28 (ANI): Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Holi celebrations begin in a low-key manner on Sunday evening as people across the country performed 'Holika Dahan', a ritual that symbolises the victory of good over evil.
As the festival marks the arrival of the spring harvest season, 'Holika Dahan', also called 'choti Holi', was performed in different parts of the country including Delhi's Aram Bagh, the Canning lane, Khan Market area, and Atul Grover road.
"People here have united on the occasion of Holika Dahan. Yes, there is a fear of COVID-19 but we are happy," said one of the women celebrating 'Holika Dahan' at Khan Market.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Ram Lal was also seen performing 'Holika Dahan' in Delhi's Aram Bagh area.
Meanwhile, Delhi has banned public gatherings on Holi and upcoming festivals--Shab-e-Barata and Navaratri.
"Today, truth won over evil and that is why we celebrate 'Holika Dahan'. We have followed the guidelines issued by the government. People are maintaining social distancing and wearing their masks," said another participant at Khan Market in Delhi.
"People will stay in their homes on Holi to combat COVID-19," he added.
However, Mumbai's Marine Drive was seen empty after the Maharashtra government imposed a curfew between 8 pm and 7 am in the state in view of rising cases of COVID-19.
People celebrated 'Holika Dahan' in Haryana's Panchkula by lighting a bonfire to signify the burning of the demon Holika.
As the coronavirus spread has surged all over again. Many state governments and Union Territories have declared a ban on the public celebration of the Holi festival.
States including Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Goa, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana have imposed lockdown, and Holi guidelines. (ANI)