One of the most popular Hindu festivals, Holi, was celebrated across India despite coronavirus measures imposed by the government.
Holi, an ancient Hindu festival, was celebrated on March 29 across India, marking the beginning of the spring harvest season in the country.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and surging cases, the celebrations were muted in some parts of the country but not everyone followed the government's Covid-19 advice.
Many state governments and federally-run territories announced a ban on the public festival that is typically celebrated by throwing coloured powder and water balloons at each other and chanting, “Holi Hai.”
Maharashtra, New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are among the places where officials announced restrictions as the country reported the highest daily increase in coronavirus cases in five months on Monday.
A total of 68,020 new coronavirus cases, 1,881 of them only in the capital Delhi, were reported in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry. A Reuters tally found that it is the highest daily rise since Oct 11.
On the other hand, thousands of devotees gathered in the holy Mathura city to celebrate the festival, while Banke Bihari Temple in Uttar Pradesh's Vrindavan was packed with people.
Despite fears that gatherings would fuel the infection rate, the usage of masks was low in the areas where the government had imposed coronavirus regulations.
Also known as the festival of colours, Holi marks a symbolic triumph of good over evil. Each colour has a meaning, and the mixing of them suggests a blurring of the divide among people.