Ahmedabad, March 21: The Gujarat government on Sunday said permission won't be granted for Holi celebrations due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state though the religious ritual of 'Holika Dahan' associated with the festival can take place with crowd restrictions.

Holi falls on March 29 and Holika Dahan on its eve on March 28. The government will only allow 'Holika Dahan', a pyre lighting ritual symbolizing the victory of good over evil on the eve of Holi, that too with a limited number of people in housing societies and villages, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. Holi 2021 Dates, History and Significance: When Is Choti Holi, Holika Dahan & Braj Holi? Know Puja Time, Shubh Muhrat, Rituals & Celebrations for the Festival of Colours.

Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, said people won't be allowed to form crowds to throw colour at each other, a prime part of the boisterous celebrations associated with Holi.

"No permission is granted for celebration of Holi. Action will be taken against violators. However, I believe the people of Gujarat will follow rules and will not play Holi," Patel said.

Gujarat reported 1,565 coronavirus positive cases on Saturday, the addition being the highest in four months, taking the state's tally to 2,85,429. The active caseload in the state is 6,7373 as on Saturday.