Despite Coronavirus scare, Barpeta gears up for Doul festival
Barpeta: Along with the rest of the country, the people of Barpeta have been celebrating Holi or Doul or in the colloquial language ‘Deul’ every year traditionally and with great enthusiasm. This year, all over the country the enthusiasm for the festival of colors seems to be lackluster due to the threat of Coronavirus.
People have been advised to avoid mass gatherings to reduce mass events to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. In Barpeta Xatra, ‘Doul’ festival is celebrated in a different way. This year also the Doul festival will be celebrated for four days from March 8 to March 11.
Basistha Sarma, the Burha Xatriya of Barpeta Xatra, when asked if Coronavirus would affect the Doul festival, said, “Doul is the festival of our heart. We have been celebrating this festival traditionally every year. Though this time there is high alert all over the world for Coronavirus, we believe it will not affect our festival here. We will play Holi showering ‘Phakuguri’ which is made naturally by the local youths of our town. We have immense faith in God. And we believe God (Kaliya Thakur) will save us from every disaster. So we will keep our tradition intact and play Holi enthusiastically. I also urge people not to use China-made piskaris and color.”
Jagannath Adhikary, the Xatriya of Sindaridiya Xatra said, “Holi festival is the festival of traditional pomp and gaiety. We have been celebrating it every year. But this time we have to be a little alert due to coronavirus. But it will not dim the festive mood here.”
Pramath Ranjan Das (Kanti), one of the devoted composers of Holi songs (Holigeets) of Barpeta said, “The word ‘Holi’ or Doul (deul) thrills our heart. During the spring season, we celebrate this festival of colors every year. The people of Barpeta bow their heads in front of Kaliya Thakur for the well-being of the society. I urge people to be alert due to the coronavirus and to play Holi traditionally as usual.”
Dr. Kamal Krishna Das, president of Barpeta Xahitya Xabha, said, “The fear psychosis of Coronavirus has gripped the people of the country along with the whole world. It has also gripped the people of Barpeta. Colors and other materials from outside may affect the people this time. Moreover, the Holi festival brings many devotees from outside. Anyone suffering from cough and cold for many days should avoid playing Holi. Colors are put on the face and there is the chance of the virus spreading. People should be alert while celebrating Holi this time and if possible, should use medicated masks.”