1 in 4 residents of states with restrictions on Holi celebrations is still planning to play Holi with people outside their family


  • ● 42% in Haryana, 23% in Delhi and 18% residents in Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi with people outside their family despite State Government restrictions on public gatherings over Holi
  • ● 70% citizens in a national survey by LocalCircles had supported a 1-3 day lockdown over Holi

March 26, 2021, New Delhi: Amid an upward trajectory in the active Covid-19 cases across several states in the country, the Government of India has directed states and UTs to take adequate measures to contain the surge of daily cases ahead of the 2-day celebration of Holi. This is the time when friends, family, neighbors and communities gather together to celebrate the occasion in much fan-fare, coming in close contact with each other which increases the likelihood of being infected by the virus. The daily count of coronavirus cases in India crossed 50,000 for the first time since November 6 with the daily case load rising more than 4 times in the last 45 days. Currently, there are 10 districts that have more than 5000 active cases, 78 districts with between 500 - 5000 active cases. In total out of India’s 736 districts, 211 districts now have more than 100 active COVID cases.

Taking cognizance of the issue, amid host of festivities that are lined up from March-end—Holi, Shab e Bharat, Chaitra Navratri, Ram Navami in April—State Governments across India have started issuing a fresh set of guidelines for citizens to mandatorily follow during Holi, and other upcoming festivals. Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana have already restricted public gatherings for Holi, while Mumbai, Pune and other districts in Maharashtra similar restrictions including lockdown has been imposed all aimed at containing the surge.

Amid all these developments and citizens across the country prepping for the Holi celebrations over a long weekend, LocalCircles conducted 3 state level surveys taking responses from residents in Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, where state governments have issued restrictions on how they plan to celebrate Holi. The survey received inputs from more than 5000 validated residents across these 3 states.

42% residents of Haryana plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij Wednesday announced a ban on public celebrations of Holi festival. The decision was made after the state witnessed 4,691 cases from March 15 to 21 against 684 reported from February 15 to 21. Taking cognizance of rising Covid cases in the state, the survey sought to understand how residents of Haryana plan to celebrate Holi this year. In response 29% said “will play with family at home”, 6% said “will play with family and friends at ours or someone’s home”, 12% said “will play with family and friends in the neighborhood”, another 12% said “will be attending a neighborhood Holi get together and playing there”, and further 12% said “will be attending a Holi party and playing there”. Only 29% said “will not be playing Holi this year at all”. The findings of the survey indicate that 42% residents of Haryana plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family. Such percentage of residents saying that they plan to celebrate Holi with people outside their family amid acute rise of Covid cases in the state is worrisome and State Government and local authorities must act to create awareness and maintain strict enforcement to the notification. The poll in the survey received 911 responses.

42% residents of Haryana plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

42% residents of Haryana plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

23% residents of Delhi plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority on March 23 ordered that there will be no public celebration of festivals in the city, including Holi. Delhi on March 25 recorded 1,254 new cases, which was the highest spike in over 3 months. Amid such rise in Covid cases in the city, the question that was asked to the residents of Delhi on their plan to celebrate Holi this year, 30% said “will play with family at home”, 7% said “will play with family and friends at our or someone’s home”, 7% said “will play with family and friends in the neighborhood”, and 9% said “will be attending a neighborhood Holi get together and playing there”. The majority of 45% said “will not be playing Holi this year”, while 2% couldn’t say. The findings of the poll indicated that 23% residents of Delhi plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family. The poll in question received 2,659 responses.

Delhiites love the festival of Holi, more so now than 10 years ago because the fireworks from Delhi’s Diwali have been taken away due to the high pollution level the region experiences during that time. With last Holi being a subdued one, followed by a subdued Diwali, many were hoping to have a good Holi. However, with rising cases that doesn’t look the case any more with the feedback from the majority. With 23% though still planning to colour folks beyond family, it is a cause of concern. The Delhi Police along with local elected officials may have to sensitise residents in their areas if they want people complying to the Delhi Government’s order.

23% residents of Delhi plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

18% residents of Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

Uttar Pradesh is the hub of Holi celebrations in India with week long celebrations happening in many sub-urban and rural parts of the state. Massive get togethers take place in Vrindavan and Mathura on Holi. One such video emerged from last weekend where hundreds of people had gathered for a laddu maar Holi with no social distancing observed at all. Subsequently, earlier this week the Government issued an order restricting public gatherings and processions and they requiring prior permission. Also people above 60 and children under 10 have been advised to remain indoors. When LocalCircles asked residents of Uttar Pradesh about their plan to celebrate the occasion of Holi this year, 39% said “will play with family at home”, 4% said “will play with family and friends at ours or someone’s home”, 7% each voted for “will play with family and friends in the neighborhood” and “will be attending a neighborhood Holi get together and playing there”. Breaking down the poll, 36% said “will not be playing Holi this year at all”, while 7% couldn’t say. The findings of the poll indicate that only 18% residents of Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family. A timely notification and dissemination via public media has led to higher awareness in the state where it seems majority plan to play Holi with their near and dear ones at home. This poll in the survey received 1,958 responses.

18% residents of Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

18% residents of Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family

In summary, if the total votes and their responses are added, 25% or 1 in 4 citizens in these 3 states is planning to play Holi with people outside their family. This indicates that while the majority aren’t going to be out there playing Holi, if State Government and local administrations do not act and sensitise people, a sizable number of people will be exposed and this could lead to further spread of the COVID virus. It must also be noted that India is experiencing surge in cases of mutant viruses i.e. the B.1.1.7 (UK variant) and the B.1.351 (South African variant) of which the B.1.1.7 is known to be 50-60% more transmissible than the original strains of COVID. That is one strong reason for citizens to observe restraint this Holi and perhaps have the celebrations only with their immediate family, staying indoors.

Survey Demographics

5000+ responses were received from citizens residing in 72 districts of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana of India. 68% respondents were men while 32% respondents were women. 48% respondents were from tier 1, 25% from tier 2 and 27% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.

About LocalCircles

LocalCircles, India’s leading Community Social Media platform enables citizens and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions and enables Government to make policies that are citizen and small business centric. LocalCircles is also India’s # 1 pollster on issues of governance, public and consumer interest. More about LocalCircles can be found on https://www.localcircles.com

For more queries - media@localcircles.com, +91-8585909866

All content in this report is a copyright of LocalCircles. Any reproduction or redistribution of the graphics or the data therein requires the LocalCircles logo to be carried along with it. In case any violation is observed LocalCircles reserves the right to take legal action.

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