Festive in Kathmandu

Devotees drinking wine from a statue of Shwet Bhairav (god of protection) during the Indra Jatra festival in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

One of the most celebrated festivals in Nepal's capital, the eight-day-long event kicked off at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square over the weekend. Each night during the festival, the shrines and ancient palace buildings around Kathmandu Durbar Square, a Unesco World Heritage Site, are lit aglow with oil wicks.

Tens of thousands of devotees have gathered to celebrate this year's feast of Indra Jatra - which signals the end of monsoon rains, the beginning of autumn and the end of the rice farming season - marking the return of the festival season in the Himalayan nation two years after it was scaled down because of Covid-19.

The country has imposed several lockdowns and other restrictions since the pandemic hit. According to Nepal's Health Ministry, as of Wednesday, its death toll had reached 11,059, the number of active cases stood at 21,139 and the infection tally was 787,828.

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