Colours of harmony mark festival in Uttar Pradesh

Colours of harmony mark festival in Uttar Pradesh

Communal harmony dominated Holi in Uttar Pradesh’s capital city as Hindus and Muslims together celebrated the festival of colour, keeping afloat the spirit of a centuries-old tradition.

Muslims from the old city areas organised  “Holi Milan” (get-together) functions at many places, offered sweets to Hindus and applied “gulal” (dry coloured powder),  upholding the true verve of the festival.

“Lucknow has an old tradition of celebrating the Holi festival. The nawabs also used to take part in the Holi festivities,” says Syed Masoom Raza, a descendant of the nawab of Avadh.
Many Muslims have also, in fact, patronised the Holi. Ahmed Khan Adeeb, a city resident, is the patron of Aminabad Holi Mahotsav Committee.

Khan not only oversees the arrangements for organising the celebrations, but also lights the “Holika” fire (a day before the Holi festival, Holika is lighted).

“The tradition has been going on for the past several decades, even before India’s independence,” Khan said. “People from all religions used to gather at the park and play Holi.”

The Holi festivities in the Chowk area in the state capital are known as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. “The Muslims take up key responsibilities like raising funds and making other arrangements for the festivity,” says Raju Yadav, patron of Hindu-Muslim Unity Committee.

A large number of Muslims are associated with the committee. Some arrange for music concert while others distribute sweets and juice to Holi revellers.

Muslims here greet the Holi revellers with showers of flowers and colours, when the latter pass through their locality

Aqueel Abbasi, who has been organising Holi functions for the past 15 years, says “hajis” (the Muslims who have undertaken visits to Mecca) also accompany the priests in lighting the “Holika” fire in the Udayganj area in the city.

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