The Hindu festival of Holi was celebrated with much fervour across Bangladesh and Pakistan – the two neighbouring countries where the community is a tiny minority.
In Bangladesh, where Holi is also known as Dol Purnima (full moon day), Hindus were seen celebrating in various parts of the country, including the capital city Dhaka.
According to The Daily Star, the festival started on Wednesday and will continue throughout Thursday.
Devotional songs in praise of Lord Krishna were recited at the Dhakeswari National Temple at 7 am today. Abir (known as Gulal in northern India) – coloured powder – was offered at the feet of the idols of Radha and Krishna as well as Chaitanya, the saint of the 15th Bhakti movement who brought a revival of Hinduism during the Mughal era.
After the sacraments, Hindu devotees smeared colours on each other.
Apart from Dhakeswari National Temple, Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee organised worshiping and Kirton (devotional songs) in the morning, reports The Daily Star.
BSS reports that the surroundings of Dhakeswari Temple wore a festive look with hundreds of youths joining in the celebrations cutting across religious lines in this Muslim-majority country.
On the other hand, the top leadership in Pakistan, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, greeted the minority Hindu community in the country on Holi.
Khan and other prominent leaders in this Islamic Republic had on Wednesday posted wishes on Twitter and prayed for peace.
“Wishing our Hindu community a very happy and peaceful Holi, the festival of colours,” he tweeted.
PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari shared photos of him playing Holi with the Hindu community.
“Happy Holi to all my Hindu brothers & sisters. On the happy occasion of Holi, let us spread the wonderful massage of peace and happiness,” he wrote on Twitter.
Holi was celebrated in Pakistan on 20 March in Karachi, Peshawar and some other parts of the country.