• 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.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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.

Foto: Devotees toss colored powder into the air during Holi celebrations. Source: Manish Swarup/AP Images

Source: Holi Festival

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.

Foto: Devotees dance around a bonfire during Holi festival celebrations in Allahabad, India. Source: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP Photo

Source: Time; ABP Live

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.

Foto: Devotees gather around a bonfire on the eve of Holi. Source: AP Images

Source: ABP Live

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In a residential area near Mumbai, India, devotees depicted the coronavirus as a big, blue demon named “Coronasur.”

Foto: Children take photographs of an effigy depicting the coronavirus that will be burned during a ritual known as “Holika Dahan” in a residential area of Mumbai, India, March 9, 2020. Source: Hemanshi Kamani/Reuters

Source: Reuters

In Ahmedabad, India, devotees went another route, dressing up the coronavirus in pink and green. Both effigies met the same fiery fate.

Foto: Devotees burn an effigy of the coronavirus during Holi festival celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, March 9, 2020. Source: Ajit Solanki/AP Photo

Source: AP Photo

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.

Foto: A girl plays with a water gun during Holi celebrations in Kolkata, India, March 9, 2020. Source: Reuters

Source: India Today

However, reports of early Holi celebrations indicate that Holi festivities will proceed despite coronavirus fears tomorrow.

Foto: Holi participants prepare to blow colored powder into the air. Source: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Source: Gulf News; Channel News Asia

As of Monday, India has 44 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Foto: Students wearing face masks and scarves attend a class at a government-run high school in Secunderabad, India, on March 4, 2020. Source: Getty Images

Source: Times of India

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.

Foto: A worker in protective suits checks the temperature of a passenger arriving at the Xianning North Station on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, in Xianning, a city bordering Wuhan to the north, in Hubei province, China, January 24, 2020. Source: REUTERS/Martin Pollard

Source: Business Insider