LAHORE: Holi, the festival of colours, was marked by many Christians and Muslims alongside Hindus with traditional zeal and fervour in the city.
Members of the community sang, danced, offered prayers for national progress and daubed one another with coloured powder. Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, is celebrated by throwing scented coloured powder and perfume at each other.
The main celebration in this regard was held at the Krishna Mandir in Ravi Road area. Muslims and Christians from various walks of life also joined their Hindu brethren to partake in the celebrations. Provincial Assembly Member (MPA) Kanji Ram also partook in the festivities at the temple.
The festival was also marked at the Provincial Assembly by the cutting of two cakes. MPA Ram had provided the sweetmeats. Holi celebrations were not organised at the Agarwal Ashram and the Balmiki Mandar in the city due to security concerns.
Krishna Mandir’s pundit Manohar Chand told The Express Tribune that the community was celebrating Holi as the festival of love and gaiety. He said they had started celebrations with a puja. Chand said the participants had smeared each other with coloured powders. He said prashad, a religious offering, had also been distributed among those present on the occasion. Chand said overcoming social divide was the enduring custom associated with Holi. He said this included surmounting barriers of age, sex, status and caste. “Holi brings people together,” Chand said.
Chand said prayers for national progress and prosperity were also offered on the occasion. He said people from the Hindu community believed that they were equally responsible for the nation’s progress. Chand said they were cognisant of the pivotal role they had to play in this regard. “Hindu, Muslim Sikh, Isaai; hum sab aaj hain bhai bhai. Pakistan kay sipahi,” he said.
Azhar Abbas of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) said strict security arrangements had been made to prevent any untoward accident. He said the board had arranged refreshments and prashad for those participating in the festivities. He said the ETPB had always tried to assist the Hindu community in marking its festivals in a befitting manner. Holi is celebrated on the last full-moon day of Phalguna, the twelfth month of the Hindu calendar, that usually corresponds with the latter half of February or early March.