FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Holi Fireworks At India’s Atal Tunnel?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows fireworks at the Atal Tunnel in India in celebration of the festival Holi.

Verdict: False

The footage actually shows fireworks unrelated to Holi in Saudi Arabia.

Fact Check:

A Hindu festival held at the start of spring, Holi is celebrated by lighting bonfires, throwing colored powder and water, and gathering for meals with family, according to Time Magazine. The festival took place on March 28 and March 29 this year, The Indian Express reported.

The March 28 Facebook post shows colorful pyrotechnics going off near a tunnel with a tall building visible in the background. The caption reads, “HAPPY HOLI in Srinagar Atal Tunnel.” (RELATED: Does This Video Show The Fireworks Display Meant For The Tokyo Olympics?)

In reality, the video wasn’t filmed at the Atal Tunnel or anywhere else in India, nor does it show a fireworks display related to celebrating Holi. The Atal Tunnel, which was inaugurated in 2020, is located in India’s Himachal Pradesh state and is the world’s longest tunnel at its altitude, according to The Economic Times.

Dr. Abdullah bin Khaled al-Saud, an assistant professor at Saudi Arabia’s Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, tweeted a shorter video depicting part of the same fireworks show in October 2018, with the caption saying, “Beautiful daytime fireworks show at @Ithra in Dhahran.” Ithra, also known as the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, is a project in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that features a cinema, library, museums and other activities, according to its website.

The Ithra building visible in both the Facebook and Twitter video appears in a satellite view and photos on Google Maps. The center posted footage of the fireworks show on Facebook in 2018, stating that it took place on Oct. 19, 2018.

That year, Ithra hosted “Tanween,” a multi-day creativity festival that featured a daytime fireworks display, according to Arab News.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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