COVID-19: Hindu temples in Dubai cancel Holi celebrations for second time during pandemic

Dubai: The Hindu temples in Dubai have cancelled celebrations for the festival of Holi. This is the second time that Holi celebrations have been cancelled in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The managements of the Shiva and Krishna temple complex in Bur Dubai have also urged Indian expatriates and other community members to refrain from splashing coloured water or throwing colour powders on each other to celebrate Holi, known as the ‘festival of colours’.

Signalling the end of winter and onset of spring, Holi is celebrated as thanksgiving for good harvest. The festival falls on March 28 and 29 this year, but Hindu temples in Dubai will be closed for the public during these days.

“The management of Shiva Temple has decided not to celebrate Holiday due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” a trustee of the Guru Darbar Sindhi Temple told Gulf News. “We advise our community members to avoid gatherings during Holi for the health and safety of all and also to refrain from spraying coloured water amongst family members and friends,” he added.

The Shrinathji (Krishna) Temple, run by the Mercantile Hindu Community of Thatta, also announced that there would be no Holi celebrations at the temple. According to a notice issued to devotees, the management said the temple would be closed in the evening of March 28 and there would be no “darshans” [beholding of the deity] between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

Dubai temples had cancelled Holi celebrations to prevent the spread of coronavirus even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in 2020. It turned out to be a colourless festival for devotees and others who would otherwise join Indian expats in the UAE in celebrating the festival.

All Holi-related events were also cancelled last year as community members complied with the precautionary measures announced by the local authorities to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

This year, community members in Dubai are also joining other residents in mourning the demise of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who passed away on Wednesday.

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