Festivals, religious rituals observed across the globe in February amid the coronavirus pandemic [Photos]

Many rites, traditions and observances continue to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, more than a year after the disease was first identified.

The Associated Press March 02, 2021 20:33:44 IST
Kashmiri Muslims raise their hands and pray as the head priest, unseen, displays a relic believed to be a hair from the beard of the Prophet Mohammad during special prayers on the death anniversary of Abu Bakr Siddiq, the first Caliph of Islam, at Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, 5 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Mukhtar Khan
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Kashmiri Muslims raise their hands and pray as the head priest, unseen, displays a relic believed to be a hair from the beard of the Prophet Mohammad during special prayers on the death anniversary of Abu Bakr Siddiq, the first Caliph of Islam, at Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, 5 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Mukhtar Khan
Worshippers wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus burn joss sticks as they pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple, in Hong Kong, Friday, 12 February, 2021, to celebrate the Lunar New Year which marks the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. Photo via The Associated Press/Kin Cheung
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Worshippers wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus burn joss sticks as they pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple, in Hong Kong, Friday, 12 February, 2021, to celebrate the Lunar New Year which marks the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. Photo via The Associated Press/Kin Cheung
A man waits to have his Baby Jesus figure blessed with holy water at Purification of Our Lady of Candlemas Chapel in Mexico City, Tuesday, 2 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Rebecca Blackwell
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A man waits to have his Baby Jesus figure blessed with holy water at Purification of Our Lady of Candlemas Chapel in Mexico City, Tuesday, 2 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Rebecca Blackwell
Workers from "Hevra Kadisha," Israel's official Jewish burial society, get dressed in full protective gear to prepare a body for a funeral procession, at a special morgue for people who died from COVID-19, during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, 2 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Oded Balilty
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Workers from "Hevra Kadisha," Israel's official Jewish burial society, get dressed in full protective gear to prepare a body for a funeral procession, at a special morgue for people who died from COVID-19, during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, 2 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Oded Balilty
The new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Porfirije, seated back left, performs the liturgy ceremony in Belgrade's Congregational church, Serbia, Friday, 19 February, 2021. Patriarch Porfirije replaces Patriarch Irinej, who died in November 2020 from COVID-19 complications. Photo via The Associated Press/Darko Vojinovic
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The new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Porfirije, seated back left, performs the liturgy ceremony in Belgrade's Congregational church, Serbia, Friday, 19 February, 2021. Patriarch Porfirije replaces Patriarch Irinej, who died in November 2020 from COVID-19 complications. Photo via The Associated Press/Darko Vojinovic
An NYPD officer receives ashes at St. Patrick's Cathedral after Ash Wednesday Mass, Wednesday, 17 February, 2021, in New York. Photo via The Associated Press/John Minchillo
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An NYPD officer receives ashes at St. Patrick's Cathedral after Ash Wednesday Mass, Wednesday, 17 February, 2021, in New York. Photo via The Associated Press/John Minchillo
Priestess Laura D'Oya Yalorixa, center, takes part in an Umbanda religious ceremony at the Casa de Caridade Santa Barbara Iansa temple in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, 6 February, 2021. The faithful of the Umbanda religion, brought to America by West African slaves, perform spiritual protection rituals as part of pre-Carnival traditions. Photo via The Associated Press/Bruna Prado
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Priestess Laura D'Oya Yalorixa, center, takes part in an Umbanda religious ceremony at the Casa de Caridade Santa Barbara Iansa temple in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, 6 February, 2021. The faithful of the Umbanda religion, brought to America by West African slaves, perform spiritual protection rituals as part of pre-Carnival traditions. Photo via The Associated Press/Bruna Prado
A Nepalese devotee writes her name on a Saraswati temple, with the belief that writing on the wall of a Saraswati temple on this day imparts knowledge, during Shri Panchami festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, 16 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Niranjan Shrestha
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A Nepalese devotee writes her name on a Saraswati temple, with the belief that writing on the wall of a Saraswati temple on this day imparts knowledge, during Shri Panchami festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, 16 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Niranjan Shrestha
Worshippers gather around candles stuck to jars of honey, arranged as a cross, during mass for the 'sanctification of honey' at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin church in the town of Blagoevgrad, south of the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Wednesday, 10 February, 2021. Despite the COVID19 pandemic, Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks the day of St Haralampus, Orthodox patron saint of bee-keepers, by performing a ritual for health and rich harvest. Photo via The Associated Press/Valentina Petrova
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Worshippers gather around candles stuck to jars of honey, arranged as a cross, during mass for the 'sanctification of honey' at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin church in the town of Blagoevgrad, south of the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Wednesday, 10 February, 2021. Despite the COVID19 pandemic, Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks the day of St Haralampus, Orthodox patron saint of bee-keepers, by performing a ritual for health and rich harvest. Photo via The Associated Press/Valentina Petrova
An elderly pilgrim prays after a holy dip at the Sangam in Prayagraj, India, Thursday, 11 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
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An elderly pilgrim prays after a holy dip at the Sangam in Prayagraj, India, Thursday, 11 February, 2021. Photo via The Associated Press/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Muslim men gather to pray during a protest against Police lack of enforcement and recent rise in violence Arab communities in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm, Israel, Friday, 5 February, 2021. More than 2,000 people protested outside the local police station, and blocked main roads in the area. Photo via The Associated Press/Ariel Schalit
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Muslim men gather to pray during a protest against Police lack of enforcement and recent rise in violence Arab communities in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm, Israel, Friday, 5 February, 2021. More than 2,000 people protested outside the local police station, and blocked main roads in the area. Photo via The Associated Press/Ariel Schalit
A Hindu Holy man lies in front of an image of Hindu Goddess of learning Saraswati, at Sangam, the sacred confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, during Magh Mela festival, in Prayagraj, India. Tuesday, 16 February, 2021. Hindus believe that ritual bathing on auspicious days can cleanse them of all sins. Photo via The Associated Press/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
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A Hindu Holy man lies in front of an image of Hindu Goddess of learning Saraswati, at Sangam, the sacred confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, during Magh Mela festival, in Prayagraj, India. Tuesday, 16 February, 2021. Hindus believe that ritual bathing on auspicious days can cleanse them of all sins. Photo via The Associated Press/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Catholics offer prayers during a mass in observance of Ash Wednesday at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, 17 February, 2021. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Photo via The Associated Press/Mahesh Kumar A
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Catholics offer prayers during a mass in observance of Ash Wednesday at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, 17 February, 2021. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Photo via The Associated Press/Mahesh Kumar A