In pictures: From Holi to Palm Sunday, springtime holy days and festival observations across the globe [Photos]

Springtime ushered in a host of religious holidays and festivals observed by the faithful around the world.

The Associated Press April 02, 2021 17:29:48 IST
As yellow-orange flames crackle nearby, two girls embrace. One holds a piece of bread; around them, Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jews burn leavened foodstuffs that are forbidden during Passover as part of the commemoration of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. In the picture: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and children burn leavened items in final preparation for the Passover holiday in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel on Friday, 26 March 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Oded Balilty
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As yellow-orange flames crackle nearby, two girls embrace. One holds a piece of bread; around them, Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jews burn leavened foodstuffs that are forbidden during Passover as part of the commemoration of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. In the picture: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and children burn leavened items in final preparation for the Passover holiday in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel on Friday, 26 March 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Oded Balilty
Hindu women and children caked in neon hues grin during massive, joyful celebrations of the Holi festival in India, marked by the throwing of colourful powder and the spraying of water. In the picture: Indians smeared in colour participate in Holi festival celebrations in Gauhati, India, on Monday, 29 March, 2021. Hindus threw coloured powder and sprayed water in massive Holi celebrations despite many Indian states restricting gatherings to try to contain a coronavirus resurgence rippling across the country. Photo by The Associated Press/Anupam Nath
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Hindu women and children caked in neon hues grin during massive, joyful celebrations of the Holi festival in India, marked by the throwing of colourful powder and the spraying of water. In the picture: Indians smeared in colour participate in Holi festival celebrations in Gauhati, India, on Monday, 29 March, 2021. Hindus threw coloured powder and sprayed water in massive Holi celebrations despite many Indian states restricting gatherings to try to contain a coronavirus resurgence rippling across the country. Photo by The Associated Press/Anupam Nath
And in Indian-controlled Kashmir, women raise their hands in prayer at a holy shrine on the occasion of Mehraj-u-Alam, believed to celebrate the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad to heaven. In the picture: Kashmiri Muslim women pray as the head priest displays a relic at the Hazratbal shrine on the occasion of Mehraj-u-Alam, believed to mark the ascension of Prophet Muhammad to heaven, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, on Friday, 12 March, 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Dar Yasin
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And in Indian-controlled Kashmir, women raise their hands in prayer at a holy shrine on the occasion of Mehraj-u-Alam, believed to celebrate the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad to heaven. In the picture: Kashmiri Muslim women pray as the head priest displays a relic at the Hazratbal shrine on the occasion of Mehraj-u-Alam, believed to mark the ascension of Prophet Muhammad to heaven, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, on Friday, 12 March, 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Dar Yasin
In Israel, beaming nuns took a group selfie atop the Mount of Olives with their masks down below their chins. A year after pandemic restrictions halted mass gatherings, the country has undertaken an aggressive vaccination campaign allowing many aspects of normal life to return. In the picture: Nuns pose for a selfie as they mark Palm Sunday on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, on Sunday, 28 March, 2021. A year after coronavirus restrictions halted mass gatherings, Christians are celebrating Holy Week together. Photo by The Associated Press/Mahmoud Illean
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In Israel, beaming nuns took a group selfie atop the Mount of Olives with their masks down below their chins. A year after pandemic restrictions halted mass gatherings, the country has undertaken an aggressive vaccination campaign allowing many aspects of normal life to return. In the picture: Nuns pose for a selfie as they mark Palm Sunday on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, on Sunday, 28 March, 2021. A year after coronavirus restrictions halted mass gatherings, Christians are celebrating Holy Week together. Photo by The Associated Press/Mahmoud Illean
That was a stark contrast with the scene at Saint Peter Parish Church in the Philippines, where a priest walked past empty pews with lit candles in preparation for an online Mass after the government banned religious activities during Holy Week and toughened lockdown measures to try to contain an alarming surge of the coronavirus. In the picture: A Catholic priest walks beside empty pews with lighted candles as he prepares for an online mass to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at the Saint Peter Parish Church in Quezon city, Philippines on Palm on Sunday, 28 March, 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Aaron Favila
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That was a stark contrast with the scene at Saint Peter Parish Church in the Philippines, where a priest walked past empty pews with lit candles in preparation for an online Mass after the government banned religious activities during Holy Week and toughened lockdown measures to try to contain an alarming surge of the coronavirus. In the picture: A Catholic priest walks beside empty pews with lighted candles as he prepares for an online mass to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at the Saint Peter Parish Church in Quezon city, Philippines on Palm on Sunday, 28 March, 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Aaron Favila
A Hindu man takes a holy bath before praying during Shivratri festival at Pashupatinath temple premises in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Thursday, 11 March, 2021. Shivratri, or the night of Shiva, is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction. Photo by The Associated Press/Niranjan Shrestha
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A Hindu man takes a holy bath before praying during Shivratri festival at Pashupatinath temple premises in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Thursday, 11 March, 2021. Shivratri, or the night of Shiva, is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction. Photo by The Associated Press/Niranjan Shrestha
Tourists sit on a boat and watch Hindu priests perform evening rituals on the banks of the River Ganges in Varanasi, India, on Sunday, 14 March, 2021. Varanasi is among the world's oldest cities, and millions of Hindu pilgrims gather annually here for ritual bathing and prayers in the Ganges River, considered holiest by Hindus. Photo by The Associated Press/Rajesh Kumar Singh
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Tourists sit on a boat and watch Hindu priests perform evening rituals on the banks of the River Ganges in Varanasi, India, on Sunday, 14 March, 2021. Varanasi is among the world's oldest cities, and millions of Hindu pilgrims gather annually here for ritual bathing and prayers in the Ganges River, considered holiest by Hindus. Photo by The Associated Press/Rajesh Kumar Singh
Pope Francis, surrounded by shells of destroyed churches, leads a prayer for the victims of war at Hosh al-Bieaa Church Square, in Mosul, Iraq, once the de-facto capital of IS, on Sunday, 7 March, 2021. The long 2014-2017 war to drive IS out left ransacked homes and charred or pulverized buildings around the north of Iraq, all sites Francis visited. Photo by The Associated Press/Andrew Medichini
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Pope Francis, surrounded by shells of destroyed churches, leads a prayer for the victims of war at Hosh al-Bieaa Church Square, in Mosul, Iraq, once the de-facto capital of IS, on Sunday, 7 March, 2021. The long 2014-2017 war to drive IS out left ransacked homes and charred or pulverized buildings around the north of Iraq, all sites Francis visited. Photo by The Associated Press/Andrew Medichini
People watch a castle-shaped wooden construction burning as part of celebrations at the Maslenitsa (Shrovetide) festival at the Nikola-Lenivets art park in Nikola-Lenivets village, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, 13 March, 2021. Maslenitsa is an Orthodox Christian holiday celebrated in the last week before the Orthodox Lent. Photo by The Associated Press/Dmitry Serebryakov
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People watch a castle-shaped wooden construction burning as part of celebrations at the Maslenitsa (Shrovetide) festival at the Nikola-Lenivets art park in Nikola-Lenivets village, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, 13 March, 2021. Maslenitsa is an Orthodox Christian holiday celebrated in the last week before the Orthodox Lent. Photo by The Associated Press/Dmitry Serebryakov
An Orthodox Christian refugee who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region reads prayers with his son in front of a church at the Hamdeyat Transition Center near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, eastern Sudan, on Tuesday, 16 March, 2021. Political tensions between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government and the Tigray leaders who once dominated the country's government exploded in November into war. Photo by The Associated Press/Nariman El-Mofty
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An Orthodox Christian refugee who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region reads prayers with his son in front of a church at the Hamdeyat Transition Center near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, eastern Sudan, on Tuesday, 16 March, 2021. Political tensions between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government and the Tigray leaders who once dominated the country's government exploded in November into war. Photo by The Associated Press/Nariman El-Mofty
A devotee takes part in a Holy Week Palm Sunday procession at Saint Mary Cathedral, in Pamplona, northern Spain, on Sunday, 28 March, 2021. Many devotees attended the procession a year after events were cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by The Associated Press/Alvaro Barrientos
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A devotee takes part in a Holy Week Palm Sunday procession at Saint Mary Cathedral, in Pamplona, northern Spain, on Sunday, 28 March, 2021. Many devotees attended the procession a year after events were cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by The Associated Press/Alvaro Barrientos
Christians take part in Palm Sunday Mass at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family, in Gaza City, on Sunday, 28 March 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Khalil Hamra
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Christians take part in Palm Sunday Mass at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family, in Gaza City, on Sunday, 28 March 2021. Photo by The Associated Press/Khalil Hamra