Holi celebrations cancelled in Dubai due to COVID-19

holi uaeDUBAI: Hindu temples in Dubai have cancelled the upcoming Holi celebrations and advised against playing with colours to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, it was reported.

This is in addition to other preventive measures such as reduction in prayer times and providing sanitisers as part of preventive measures to protect the devotees and the larger community, the managements of both Shiva and Krishna temples told Gulf News on Saturday.

“The Holi celebrations have been cancelled. We are taking precautionary steps in line with DHA (Dubai Health Authority) instructions,” said Gopal Kokani, general manager of the Guru Darbar Sindhi Temple (Shiva temple).

“We usually have the celebration of burning cow dung cakes on the first day of Holi on March 9 (Monday). We have already put up a notice informing the cancellation to all devotees,” he said, adding that the daily opening hours of the temple have also been reduced.

Lalit Karani, chairman of the Sreenathji (Krishna) Temple run by the Mercantile Hindu Community of Thatta, told Gulf News that the Holi celebrations scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have been cancelled in the interest of public health safety.

“The Holi Utsav and Dhol Utsav will not be celebrated for public,” the temple management said in a notice to devotees which is being circulated on social media as well.

“We request all to avoid unnecessary gatherings in order to limit the spread of infection. Avoid throwing colours (wet/dry) in the temple premises and compound area.”

Karani said the bonfire on Monday and the splashing of colours on Tuesday will be held only as offerings for Lord Krishna.

Other Holi events in Dubai had also been cancelled earlier. IANS