UMERKOT: All arrangements to celebrate Holi, the religious festival intended to welcome the season of spring, have been finalised in Umerkot, Thar, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Shahdadkot and other cities of Sindh.
Since Umerkot and Thar districts are areas in Sindh with a majority of Hindus, this colourful festival is celebrated by the community every year with great enthusiasm and fervour like in any other part of the world.
Noted Hindu community leader Bhagwandas Jatiya, while talking to the media on Tuesday, said that special prayers will be offered on the occasion of Holi along with programmes where people can play with colour. He added that the preparations to hold such programmes were in full swing and will begin on today (March 20) and end on March 21.
Local governments in major cities have facilitated Hindus to commemorate the day with peace and love. Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has extended Holi greetings to the Hindu community in advance. He had already ordered the release of salaries to Hindu community government employees so that they could celebrate Holi in a befitting manner.
Holi is a Hindu spring festival, originating from the Indian subcontinent, which was celebrated predominantly in India and Nepal, but has now spread across other areas of Asia and parts of the Western world.
The festival is a celebration of the end of winter and the start of spring. Often also known as the ‘festival of colours’ or ‘festival of love’, celebrations start on the evening of the Purnima [full moon] that comes in the Hindu calendar month of ‘Phalguna,’ which is between the end of February and the middle of March.
The festival is split in two events that take place over the two days.
The night before is the Holika Dahan [burning of demon holika], in which people wear new clothes, gather around a bonfire and celebrate the victory of good over evil.
The next day is known as Rangwali Holi, in which everyone gathers for the ‘party of colours’.
They celebrate by throwing coloured powder on each other along with music and dance.
The Hindu religious festival of Holi has now become popular amongst non-Hindus as well. In many parts of South Asia and in the West, people enjoy the idea of a colour party and joyfully take part in the celebrations.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2019.