Diwali celebrations in India and around the world, in photos

Streets and homes were lit up across India on Sunday night as millions celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

The celebration broke the record for the largest display of 2.2 million kerosene lamps in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Defying the ban on firecrackers, crowds of people in cities and towns, including the capital New Delhi, lighted sparks and candles and burst firecrackers.

Indian authorities raised the alarm this weekend over worsening air pollution, which reached dangerous levels in New Delhi last week, before a light rain shower. On Sunday, however, the extravaganza had already created a new smog in the capital, whose sprawling metro is home to nearly 33 million people.

At midnight local time, air quality in eastern India’s major urban areas including New Delhi and Kolkata deteriorated dangerously. This time of the year usually marks the beginning of the “pollution season” in New Delhi. It lasts for months and is caused by vehicle exhaust, construction dust, industrial emissions and crop burning in neighboring states.

But the festival is so revered and widely celebrated that the ban on firecrackers is not always enforced. This year, India’s Supreme Court declined to ban all firecrackers, instead reminding states to ban the sale of firecrackers with added or banned chemicals.

Symbolizing the victory of light over darkness, Diwali is an annual festival celebrated in Hinduism and across faiths, including Sikhs and Jains, who live mostly in western India. It is also observed in the South Asian diaspora. Sri Lanka and Nepal celebrate it, as do Indian and Hindu people in Singapore, Fiji and Malaysia.

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Celebrants typically light candles, burst firecrackers, line row houses, temples and riverbanks with diyas, or earthen pot oil lamps – the tradition that gives the celebration its name. “Diwali” means “array of lights”.

During the five days of Diwali, celebrants feast, share sweets, worship and spend time with loved ones. Some decorate their homes with rangoli, a traditional art form where vibrant patterns are created on the ground with colored rice or sand.

In Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, devotees lighted more than 2.2 million oil lamps, the state tourism agency said. said broken Previous posts Less than 2 million. A mass lamp is lit in Ayodhya on the banks of the Sarayu River, the birthplace of the Hindu god Rama.

According to the Associated Press, the oil lamp display set a new Guinness World Record. After counting the lamps, the representatives of the Guinness Book presented the achievement certificate to Yogi Adityanath, the state’s top official. AP reported.

Andrew Jeong contributed reporting.

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