Residents in Mumbai, India, burned an effigy depicting the coronavirus as a big, blue demon during Holi celebrations
- Holi, the Hindu celebration known as the festival of colors, kicked off on March 9 with bonfire rituals representing the triumph of good over evil.
- In at least two communities in India, devotees built an effigy representing the coronavirus, which they burned as part of a ritual known as "Holika Dahan."
- While coronavirus fears kept some devotees at home and have decreased sales for certain vendors in India, early Holi celebrations indicate that festivities will proceed as usual tomorrow.
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Holi, the annual Hindu festival of colors that marks the advent of spring, began today, March 9, and will continue through tomorrow, March 10, across South Asia and the world.
This year, at least two communities in India decided to burn effigies of the coronavirus as part of the "Holika Dahan" ritual, which takes place on the first day of Holi and signals the triumph of good over evil.
In observance of Holika Dahan, communities light bonfires to recreate the victory of Lord Vishnu, a Hindu God, over the demoness Holika. Holika attempted to lead one of Vishnu's followers into the fire; instead, she fell victim to the flame.
In a residential area near Mumbai, India, devotees depicted the coronavirus as a big, blue demon named "Coronasur."
In Ahmedabad, India, devotees went another route, dressing up the coronavirus in pink and green. Both effigies met the same fiery fate.
Vendors in Guwahati, India, told India Today that they have only been able to sell around 25 percent of their typical Holi merchandise such as water guns, which are used to spray colored water in the streets, due to coronavirus fears.
However, reports of early Holi celebrations indicate that Holi festivities will proceed despite coronavirus fears tomorrow.
As of Monday, India has 44 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, in late December, has spread to more than 100 countries, infected over 111,000 people, and claimed at least 3,900 lives.
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