The city donned its colourful garb on Wednesday with Holi celebrations spilling onto the streets.

Once observed only by the North Indian community in the city, Holi is now celebrated with equal pomp by people of different communities.

College students were seen emerging from campuses with their faces daubed with red, yellow and blue colours. Schoolchildren who just finished their examinations also made full use of the festivities to let off steam.

Despite Wednesday being a working day, Holi was celebrated in different parts from early in the morning. Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, home to many families from North India settled in the city, were the centres of Holi celebrations.

‘Holika Dahan,’ a ceremony in which a figure of Holika made of wood is burnt to signify the victory of good over evil, was held at the Navneet Sree Krishna Temple at Mattancherry at 6.30 a.m.

The ritual was held at the Ram temple in Mattancherry on Tuesday evening. Holika, according to Hindu mythology, tried to kill Prahalad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu, by burning him in a pyre. Holi also marks the beginning of spring and the harvest season. The festival is an occasion for many families to get together in celebration. “The whole family will come together and there will be a special feast at the temple here. We will also make sweets at home,” said Shiv Kumar Agarwal, a city resident. The Agarwal Samaj in Kochi has around 100 families as its members.

Colours and pitchkaris were sold in large quantities in Mattancherry. The Navy also celebrated the festival and a get-together of its members and their families was held.

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