Photo feature: New Delhi celebrates Diwali

A thick layer of acrid smog hung over Delhi-NCR on Friday after residents flouted a firecrackers' ban last night to celebrate Diwali and emissions from farm fires in the region peaked at 36 per cent, pushing the capital's air quality into the 'severe' zone.

Photo feature: New Delhi celebrates Diwali
An apartment illuminated on the ocassion of Diwali in New Delhi on Thursday, November, 4, 2021. Photograph: Rajeev Bhatt

Delhi has been lit up in a dazzling display of light and colour, as millions of people celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali. But it comes amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and air pollution.

Residents celebrating lighting a Hot Air Baloon-Sky lantern on Diwali in New Delhi on Thursday, November, 4, 2021. Photograph: Rajeev Bhatt

A time for feasts, prayers and fireworks, Diwali is one of the most important festivals in India. It is known as the festival of lights as people illuminate oil lamps or candles to symbolise the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.

Diwali celebration in New Delhi on November 4, 2021. Video: Rajeev Bhatt

For some, Diwali marks the beginning of a new year. It is also the social highpoint for Indians as people - buoyed by festive cheer - throw parties, meet friends and family and exchange gifts.

An aerial view of motorist driving back to their homes through multi level AIIMS flyover on the Diwali evening in New Delhi on Thursday, November 4, 2021. Photograph: Rajeev Bhatt