Free Press Journal

Bengal celebrates Holi


Kolkata:  With generous sprinkling of eco-friendly colours, glasses of chilled thandai and splashes in pools as popular Bollywood songs played on, the eastern metropolis Monday celebrated the festival of Holi.

Hundreds of people gathered in pockets of the city to celebrate the festival that unified the Bengali, Marwari, Bihari and Gujarati communities.

The highlight of the day was use of skin-friendly herbal colour (abir or gulaal) and nature-friendly organic powder.

Both old and young basked in the summer air wrapped in a haze of neon, green, red and blues.

At the Nicco Park grounds in the eastern fringes of the city, revellers splashed each other with water-guns while a section enjoyed with their families at the giant pool specially created for the occasion.

Children were encouraged to play with dry colour powder as the evergreen song “Rang Barse” from the Amitabh Bachchan movie “Silsila” resonated in the background.

In various restaurants, green drinks and smoothies of vivid colours that had fruit and vegetables as core ingredients were offered.

Poetry festivals (hasya kavi sammelan) were organised in various areas.

Groups of women daubed in colours walked through localities singing Holi songs and egging-on others to join in.

Water balloons were pelted at one another even as police maintained strict vigil.