However, the enthusiasm for the festival of colours seems to be lacklustre this year due to the threat of Coronavirus across the state. People have been advised to avoid mass gatherings to reduce mass events to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted the people of the state on the joyous occasion of Dol Purnima, the festival of colours and appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony during Holi.
“Heartiest greetings to all on the occasion of Dol Purnima.,” Ms Banerjee posted on her social networking page.
Meanwhile, in the city, as the morning progressed, youngsters moved around their neighbourhoods in groups, throwing water missiles and smearing colour powder (abir) on one another. People exchanged sweets and pleasantries.
The local clubs in different parts of the state capital have also organized plays, songs and art competitions in the latter part of the day.
Huge enthusiasm was also witnessed among the children of all ages who apart from enjoying the day in their ways, drenched themselves in multiple watercolours as part of the celebration.
The Weather God also did not disappoint the revealers and played the role of spoiled sport as the sky remained clear since this morning.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at its global headquarters at Mayapur in Nadia district about 130 km from Kolkata observed the day as the birth anniversary of the 16th-century Vaishnav saint and social reformer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Although there was low physical turnout of foreign devotees this year on the occasion of the 535th Appearance day celebration of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, traditionally celebrated as Gaur Purnima, due to less availability of International flights.
However, the enthusiasm of the devotees was not marred by their physical unavailability as via different online mediums more than 25 lakhs devotees from more than 90 countries participated in the Maha- Abishek of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu held at Global Headquarter of International Society for Krishna Consciousness Mayapur in Nadia district of West Bengal.
Saturday evening witnessed close to 40,000 people which included devotees, pilgrims and visitors from all over India at the ISKCON Chandradaya Temple Mayapur, dressed in traditional colourful dhoti- kurta and ghagra - choli singing, dancing, chanting ecstatically amidst tumultuous kirtan of Harinam. Maha Abishesk of the deities was performed for 3 hours using milk, honey, ghee, fruit juices, perfumes.
As a part of precautionary measures being initiated by the ISKCON Mayapur Management 100 volunteers were assigned to distribute face masks and sanitisers to all the assembled people inside the temple campus informed Subroto Dasa, Media Communications Head ISKCON Mayapur.
Celebrations began from wee hours with Manglarti at 4.30 am followed by class and Darshan Arti and in the morning. In the evening MahaAbishek of the Deity was performed amidst the clashing of kartals, sounds of conchsells, beating of mrdangas, drums.
The chanting of Maha-mantra by the devotees in unison with the musical instruments reverberated in the air. During the Mahaabishek the Deity of Mahaprabhu glistened with great splendour as devotees showered flowers.
Later delicious MahaPrasadam which consisted of many varieties of foodstuff and sweets were distributed to everyone who participated in the festivities. The devotees gleefully breaking the shackles of colour, creed, region, caste, country and submerged themselves together into an ocean of eternal bliss and mirth.
No untoward incident has been reported from any part of the state so far, police said.
Security arrangements have been beefed up across important installations, railway stations and places of public importance to prevent any untoward incidents on the occasion, additional police personnel were deployed for the safety and security of the residents.
According to senior police officials, Radio Flying Squads and Heavy Radio Flying Squads has been deployed to maintain a constant vigil. There will be a special focus on preventing crimes against women. (UNI)