Gujarat govt bans public celebration of Holi due to pandemic

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Ahmedabad, Mar 24 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Wednesday issued a notification banning public celebration of Holi and said the ritual of 'Holika Dahan' can be observed in small gatherings amid the COVID-19 situation in the state.

As per the notification issued by the home department, public celebrations and mass functions cannot be allowed on the day of Dhuleti on March 29 due to the prevailing pandemic.

On the eve of Holi, the traditional 'Holika Dahan' is organised, in which pyre is lit, symbolising the victory of good over evil.

Pyres can be lit traditionally and ritualistic circumambulation will be allowed, but only a limited number of people will be permitted to participate, the notification stated.

Organisers will have to ensure that large crowds don't not gather during 'Holika Dahan' and people strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines, it said.

People usually gather in large numbers in housing societies, public places, open grounds and roads to celebrate Holi, but cannot be allowed now as there is a possibility of the viral spread, the state government said.

Gujarat recorded its highest single-day tally of 1,730 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. PTI KA ARU ARU