Photos: Covid-19 casts a shadow on Diwali celebrations

UPDATED ON NOV 15, 2020 11:28 AM IST
People light earthen lamp on the occasion of Diwali, in Thrippunithura on November 14. 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. (PTI)
A health worker in PPE and Covid-19 patients make rangoli on the occasion of Diwali festival, at CWG Covid centre in New Delhi on November 14. Diwali is meant to be the festival of light, but the pandemic has clouded the future for many in the country. (ANI)
Fireworks set off in Safdarjung Enclave during Diwali celebrations in New Delhi on November 14. The pandemic also upended some of the celebrations in India, particularly in New Delhi, which has seen a renewed spike in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. Some people defiantly set off traditional firecrackers in Delhi despite a ban imposed because of sky-high pollution levels. (Amal KS / HT Photo)
People out shopping in large numbers on the eve of Diwali, at Kamla Nagar market in New Delhi on November 13. The markets were filled with holiday shoppers in the run-up to the festival but traders across cities told AFP that Covid-19 had scared them off spending amid the muted revelry. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)
A policeman helps traditional drummers, who had travelled from villages, hire a taxi to be dropped at a worship venue for a performance, in Kolkata on November 14. On the twin occasions of Diwali and Kali Puja celebrations across several states, many temples across the country streamed prayer sessions online to avoid large gatherings. (Bikas Das / AP)
People buy sweets at a shop on the occasion of the Diwali, in Prayagraj on November 14. The eight weeks up to Diwali can account for 40%of some traders’ annual business, AFP reported and is also considered an auspicious time to buy gold. (PTI)
A woman and children light earthen lamps on the occasion of Diwali, in Guwahati on November 14. The looming pandemic saw people cut down on typical celebrations that involve socializing and exchanging gifts with friends and family; lighting oil lamps or candles in private ceremonies instead. (ANI)
People bursting crackers at Patel Nagar in New Delhi on November 14. The use of firecrackers had been restricted in several states this year due to concerns over pollution and Covid-19. The link between air pollution and worsening Covid-19 cases remains mostly theoretical at the moment. But several researchers have said that dirty air should also be considered a key element in coronavirus outbreaks. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

People light earthen lamp on the occasion of Diwali, in Thrippunithura on November 14. 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. (PTI)

A health worker in PPE and Covid-19 patients make rangoli on the occasion of Diwali festival, at CWG Covid centre in New Delhi on November 14. Diwali is meant to be the festival of light, but the pandemic has clouded the future for many in the country. (ANI)

Fireworks set off in Safdarjung Enclave during Diwali celebrations in New Delhi on November 14. The pandemic also upended some of the celebrations in India, particularly in New Delhi, which has seen a renewed spike in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. Some people defiantly set off traditional firecrackers in Delhi despite a ban imposed because of sky-high pollution levels. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

People out shopping in large numbers on the eve of Diwali, at Kamla Nagar market in New Delhi on November 13. The markets were filled with holiday shoppers in the run-up to the festival but traders across cities told AFP that Covid-19 had scared them off spending amid the muted revelry. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

A policeman helps traditional drummers, who had travelled from villages, hire a taxi to be dropped at a worship venue for a performance, in Kolkata on November 14. On the twin occasions of Diwali and Kali Puja celebrations across several states, many temples across the country streamed prayer sessions online to avoid large gatherings. (Bikas Das / AP)

People buy sweets at a shop on the occasion of the Diwali, in Prayagraj on November 14. The eight weeks up to Diwali can account for 40%of some traders’ annual business, AFP reported and is also considered an auspicious time to buy gold. (PTI)

A woman and children light earthen lamps on the occasion of Diwali, in Guwahati on November 14. The looming pandemic saw people cut down on typical celebrations that involve socializing and exchanging gifts with friends and family; lighting oil lamps or candles in private ceremonies instead. (ANI)

People bursting crackers at Patel Nagar in New Delhi on November 14. The use of firecrackers had been restricted in several states this year due to concerns over pollution and Covid-19. The link between air pollution and worsening Covid-19 cases remains mostly theoretical at the moment. But several researchers have said that dirty air should also be considered a key element in coronavirus outbreaks. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

About The Gallery

Fear of the coronavirus and chronic pollution played damper on November 14 as Indians celebrated Diwali. Earthen lamps, candles and electric lights dotted houses with restrictions on the use of firecrackers in several states. Some still took to bursting them in defiance of bans. And while markets appeared splitting at the seams in the days leading up to the festival, traders who look forward to the weeks of festive buzz found themselves hard pressed in translating wary shoppers into sales.

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