Belagavi’s Holi is special mainly because of its geographic demarcation. While ‘Belagavi’ celebrates it the day after Holi, the areas coming under the erstwhile Sangli presidency, ie. Shahapur, Vadgaon, and Angol celebrate it on the fifth day, ie. The Rang Panchami day.
The new trend of having public Holi celebrations has helped aggregate people in one place with music to boot.
But this time as experts across the world have advised reducing mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, no public event for Holi has been organized.
The Commissioner of Police Belagavi City BS Lokesh Kumar has appealed to Holi revelers to avoid mass celebrations.
Abhay Patil organizes Holi Milan, Laxmi Hebbalkar organizes Womania Holi and Kiran Jadhav Rang Barse each year. But this year everyone has decided not to host any event due to the advice.
There are places in India where Holi is played for days together. One day or many, Holi brings joy and leaves memories behind. Stains notwithstanding.
Is it safe to play Holi this year?
COVID is an airborne infection. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, (a) between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and (b) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
The best measure towards prevention is, as WHO has specifically advised, good hygiene, particularly hand hygiene. Avoiding crowded places is another recommendation. In this context, it is reasonable to celebrate Holi in moderation. NOT BECAUSE those water balloons are made in China, as one Whatsapp forward says, but because mindful social distancing is the key.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.