Masks were a rare sight and social distancing virtually non-existent as revellers in Pakistan, India and other South Asian countries celebrated the Hindu spring festival of Holi with colours, dance and bonfires on Sunday.
In Karachi, Lahore and cities across northern Sindh, members of the Hindu community sprayed red, yellow and silver powder on each other and danced in celebration, even as authorities sounded the alarm over the third Covid-19 wave in Pakistan.
In New Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere, there were bans or restrictions on Holi, which would usually prompt large gatherings. But despite the curbs, hundreds of people gathered for a Holi ritual in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
The situation was similar in Nepal, where thousands were celebrating outdoors in the capital Kathmandu despite authorities urging people to celebrate the festival indoors only in view of Covid-19.
The ancient Hindu festival marks the arrival of spring and a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.
Header image: People play with 'Gulal' during Holi celebrations at a temple in Amritsar, India on March 28. — AFP