More than a billion Indians celebrated Diwali on Saturday amid twin concerns of a resurgence in coronavirus infections and rising air pollution that is enveloping the country's north in a cloud of thick toxic smog.
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is typically celebrated by socialising and exchanging gifts with friends and family, and lighting oil lamps or candles to symbolise a victory of light over darkness. Fireworks are also a major part of the celebrations.
But this year, the pandemic is upending some of the celebrations in India, particularly in New Delhi, which has seen a renewed spike in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.
However, although traditional revelry was mute, there was no sign that people were staying at home. As in India, people in countries from Pakistan to Malaysia celebrated the biggest Hindu holiday of the year with lights, fireworks and meet-ups with friends.
Header image: People play with fireworks during Diwali, the festival of lights, in Prayagraj, India on Saturday. — AP