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'Hathoda baraat' : Allahabad celebrates unique Holi procession

Allahabad: Holi is normally celebrated across the country with gusto, but in Allahabad, the festival of colours is celebrated in unique way. The people of Allahabad take out a hammer procession in which the hathoda (hammer) is adorned like a groom and the VIPs of the city join the event as baraatis.

The traditional hathoda baraat was taken out in Sangam city on Monday. This procession held every year prior to the Holi festival.

The aarti of the traditional hammer was performed by the city mayor Abhilasha Gupta with a lantern. Whereas, Allahabad zone commissioner Rajan Shukla applied Kajal (eyeliner) to the groom hathoda.

The baraat started after being given a 21 gun salute with each of the shells made of confetti packed into a cracker.

According to report, this year's hathoda baraat commenced from Kesar Vidya Peeth, a school in Meergunj, wherein the long procession, complete with decorative lights and a DJ belting out hit numbers, passed through zero road, ghanta ghar and Loknath only to arrive at Vidya Peeth again.

As per baraat convenor Sanjay Singh, "the procession is taken out by Prayag Nagrik Seva Sansthan (PNSS). This special wodden hathoda is kept in the PNSS office on a specially designed platform. Before Holi, it is taken for a holy dip in river Ganga, given new clothes and a garland and brought to the marriage premises."

Every year in the procession, a kaddu (pumpkin), stuffed with abeer and gulal is broken along with the effigy that carries a message for the common man. This year's effigy was symbolic of rising inflation.

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