Residents in Mumbai, India, burned an effigy depicting the coronavirus as a demon during Holi celebrations

Business Insider US
AMRITSAR, INDIA - MARCH 9: People play with colou
People play with colours as they celebrate on the eve of Holi festival, at Durgiana Temple on March 9, 2020 in Amritsar, India. (Photo by Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
  • 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.
  • For more stories go to

Holi, the annual Hindu festival of colours that marks the advent of spring, began today, March 9, and will continue through tomorrow, March 10, across South Asia and the world.

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.

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.

Source: ABP Live

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

Source: Reuters

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

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 coloured water in the streets, due to coronavirus fears.

Source: India Today

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

Source: Gulf News; Channel News Asia

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

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.

Source: Business Insider

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa:

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo