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Rationalism/Superstitions/Rituals

Social workers and priests perform a 'mahayagya' to pray for those who succumbed to COVID-19, in Varanasi.

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Last rites of BJP leader Rakesh Pandita's son, who was killed Wednesday in a terrorist attack in Tral area of South Kashmir, during his cremation in Jammu.

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A religious head performs a ritual for new oxygen concentrators before they were dedicated for use to needy people, at Swaminarayan Gurukul in Rajkot.

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Brahma Army organises Janpadodhvansa Raksha Abhishek to suppress the COVID-19 spread at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi.

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Priests carry deities of lord Jagannath for Chandan Yatra at Narendra pond in Puri, Odisha

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Hindus offer prayers in front of their ancestors' photos, during ‘Amavasya’ at the banks of River Sabarmati in Ahmedabad.

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Relatives perform rituals for the deceased at Lanka Vijay Hanuman Temple in Surat.

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People perform rituals next to a funeral pyre for a family member who died of COVID-19 at a crematorium for mass cremation of COVID-19 victims in New Delhi.

Photo by Tribhuvan Tiwari/Outlook

Gajan sanyasis with prickles on their body, dance as part of their rituals to get the blessings of the god through the pain on Dharamraj festival on the day of Baisakh Purnima at Goalpara in Birbhum district of West Bengal.

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Devotees perform rituals, on the banks of river Ganga during the 'Nahay Khay' on the occasion of 'Chaiti Chhath' festival, in Patna.

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Devotees roll on hot sand during a ritual as a part of 'Danda' (self punishment) festival, in Khordha.

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The ‘Arattu’ procession which marks the conclusion of the Painkuni festival at the Sree Padmanabha Swami temple making its way through the runway of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Priests perform rituals at the Chakrasanam event of Brahmotsavam at Kodandarama Swamy temple in Tirupati.

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Devotees participate in the annual chariot procession 'Rathotsavam', at Srikalahasti Temple in Chittoor district

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Sadhus meditate while sitting in rings of burning cowdung cakes, at Kumbh Purva Vaishnav Baithak in Vrindavan near Mathura.

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All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra performs rituals at Madhabdev's Janmasthan in Rangajan, Bihpuria.

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Priests perform rituals on deities during the five-day annual float festival, Teppotsavam, in the tank of Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple, Tirupati.

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Christians visit the Saint Xavier Church for an Ash Wednesday mass, in Kanyakumari district.

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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. Shri Panchami, or Saraswati Puja, is a day for students to worship Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and learning. Young children are also given their first reading and writing lesson on this day.

Photo by AP/PTI

Hindu devotees gather at Sangam on the eve of 'Mauni Amavasya' festival during the ongoing 'Magh Mela' in Prayagraj.

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Pilgrims take holy dip at Sangam confluence of three rivers, the Ganga the Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, ahead of 'Mauni Amawashya' festival during Magh Mela in Prayagraj.

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A man bathes in ice water during a traditional Epiphany celebration as the temperature dropped to about -20 degrees (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) in Rubizhne village, eastern Ukraine. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. The Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar, according to which Epiphany falls on Jan. 19.

Photo by AP/PTI

Russian President Vladimir Putin crosses himself while bathing in the icy water during a traditional Epiphany celebration as the temperature dropped to about -20 degrees (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) outside Moscow, Russia. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. The Russian Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar, according to which Epiphany falls on Jan. 19.

Photo by AP/PTI

Devotees perform rituals on the occasion of Makar Sankranti during Ganga Sagar Mela at the confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal.

Photograph by Utpaal Sorkkar

Devotees perform rituals on the occasion of Makar Sankranti during Ganga Sagar Mela at the confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal.

Photograph by Utpaal Sorkkar

Priests perform 'Ganga Aarti' as people prepare to welcome the New Year 2021, in Varanasi.

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Arun Vora, son of late veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora, immerses his ashes in Ganga river, at Sangam in Prayagraj.. Vora passed away due to post COVID-19 complications.

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Devotees take part in the sacred golden chariot procession of Lord Venkateswara, being taken out on the auspicious occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi, at Tirumala in Tirupati.

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Priests perform 'Pallivetta' rituals before the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple as part of the 'Alpasi' festival in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa performs 'Gau Pooja' at his official residence, at Kaveri in Bengaluru.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone of New Parliament Building, in New Delhi.

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Devotees hold a young girl as she attempts to walk barefoot on ember during a ritual at Veerabhadreshwara Temple, in Chikmagalur district.

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Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Chief Chirag Paswan immerses the ashes of his father and party founder late Ram Vilas Paswan at Sangam, in Prayagraj.

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Farmers perform hawan during their protest against the new farm laws, at Delhi-UP border near Ghazipur, in New Delhi.

Photo by Tribhuvan Tiwari/Outlook

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi with his mother Dolly Gogoi during the 'Shradh' ceremony of his father and former Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi, in Guwahati.

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Women devotees offer prayers to Bhishma Pitamah, after taking a holy dip in the River Yamuna on the occasion of Kartik Purnima, at Balua Ghat in Prayagraj.

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Devotees gather to take bath at Har Ki Pauri on the occasion of Kartik Purnima, in Haridwar.

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Devotees gather to take holy dip in the Ganga River on the occasion of Kartik Purnima, in Patna.

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Hindu devotees take part in 'Chaudah Kosi Parikrama' in Ayodhya.

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Hindu devotees offer prayers on the bank of the Krishna River on a Somvar (Monday) of the auspicious month of Kartik, in Vijayawada.

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People perform rituals on the occasion of 'Govardhan Puja' festival, in Faridabad.

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Women worship cows on the occasion of 'Govardhan Puja' festival, in Bhopal.

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Family members perform a ritual on the occasion of 'Dhanteras' on the eve of Diwali festival, in Ahmedabad

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Devotees immerse an idol of Goddess Laxmi in the water of Hooghly River after the end of Laxmi Puja, in Nadia/

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UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath performs rituals inside a temple on the occasion of Dussehra festival, in Gorakhpur.

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Devotees perform rituals with sacred banana plant on the bank of Hooghly River, during the 'Maha Saptami' of Durga Puja festival, in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

LJP Chief Chirag Paswan seeks blessing from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during 'shradh' rituals of late Ram Vilas Paswan during a tribute paying program, in Patna.

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (L) and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav (R) meet Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan who was performing 'shradh' rituals for his father late Ram Vilas Paswan, in Patna

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Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Chirag Paswan performs rituals for his father late Ram Vilas Paswan, in Patna

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LJP President Chirag Paswan performs rituals for his late father and former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, at Janardan Ghat Digha in Patna.

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LJP Chief Chirag Paswan performs rituals for his late father and former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, in Patna.

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Devotees take bath in holy Ganga River on the occasion of Adhimas Amavasya in Patna

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A Hindu priest arranges sweets and fruits, kept as offerings by devotees as part of a ritual to mark 'Annakut' festival , at a temple in Ahmedabad.

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Hindu devotees (Kanwariyas) carry metal pots filled with holy water of Ganges River to offer at Padilla Mahadev temple, during the holy month of ‘Adhimas', in Prayagraj.

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Women perform rituals on 'Adhik Maas', in Surat.

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A devotee perform rituals on the banks of Yamuna river, in New Delhi.

Photo by Suresh K Pandey/Outlook

Devotees perform 'Tarpan' ritual on the bank of Hooghly river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Devotees perform 'Tarpan' ritual on the bank of Hooghly river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Devotees perform 'Tarpan' ritual on the bank of Hooghly river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Devotees perform 'Tarpan' ritual on the bank of Hooghly river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Devotees perform 'Tarpan' ritual on the bank of Hooghly river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Devotees perform 'Tarpan' ritual on the bank of Hooghly river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Devotees perform 'Tarpan' ritual on the bank of Ganga river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra

Activists from a Hindu organization perform rituals as they celebrate the birthday of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

AP Photo/Manish Swarup

A devotee performs 'Tarpan' ritual to pay obedience to the forefathers on 'Pitra Moksha Amavasya', on the banks of Krishna river, in Vijayawada.

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Devotees perform 'Pind Daan' on the bank of Ganga river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Kolkata.

PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra

Devotees offer prayers at Ganga ghat on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Varanasi. ‘Mahalaya' is celebrated at the end of 'Pitru Paksha', a 16-day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors.

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Devotees offer prayers on the bank of Brahmaputra river on the occasion of Mahalaya, in Guwahati. ‘Mahalaya' is celebrated at the end of 'Pitru Paksha', a 16-day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors.

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Members of transgender community perform rituals during the ongoing 'Pitru Paksha', at Pishach Mochan in Varanasi.

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Devotee performs "Pind Daan", rituals for the soul of ancestors at Kudia Ghat, or bathing steps that line along a river, on the banks of Gomti River in Lucknow. Pind Daan rituals are performed to bring peace and salvation to the souls of deceased ancestors.

AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

Priests perform rituals for salvation of female fetuses, allegedly killed or aborted in wombs, on the occasion of 'Matri Navami' of 'Pitra Paksha', at Dashaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi.

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Devotees perform rituals for the salvation their ancestors, on the occasion of Matra Navami of 'Pitra Paksha', in Prayagraj.

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Woman devotees perform rituals of Jivitputrika Vrat on the occasion of Jivitputrika festival in Varanasi.

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Devotees after taking holy dip in Ganga river during the ongoing 'Pitra Paksha', at Sangam in Prayagraj.

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Devotees perform 'Tarpan' rituals in remembrance of their ancestors at the banks of Ganga river on Pitru Paksha, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in Patna.

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People perform 'Tarpan' rituals for salvation of their ancestors during 'Pitra Paksha', at the bank of Yamuna River in Mathura.

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Devotees perform 'Tarpan' rituals in remembrance of their ancestors at the banks of Lower Lake on Pitru Paksha, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in Bhopal.

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Devotees take a holy dip in the flooded banks of River Ganga on the occasion of Pitru Paksha, in Prayagraj.

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Hindus and Muslims perform a 'havan' for world peace, in Varanasi.

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Women performing rituals on the ghats of Yamuna at Wazirabad, in New Delhi.

Photo by Suresh K. Pandey/Outlook

Women performing rituals on the ghats of Yamuna at Wazirabad, in New Delhi.

Photo by Suresh K. Pandey/Outlook

Women performing rituals on the ghats of Yamuna at Wazirabad, in New Delhi.

Photo by Suresh K. Pandey/Outlook

Woman perform rituals as they offer their prayers during 'Lalahi Chhath' in Mirzapur.

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BJP supporters perform 'yogna' for the speedy recovery of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, after he tested positive for coronavirus, in Howrah district.

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People offer prayers for salvation of their ancestors on the occasion of ‘Aadi Perukku' at Perur in Coimbatore.

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King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb performs Chhera Panhara rituals during the inauguration of the annual Rathyatra festival, in Puri.

Photograph by Sanjib Kumar Mukherjee

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa visits Shankara Mutt to participate in a Dhanvanthri Yagna ritual, during the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, in Bengaluru.

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Women perform rituals in front of a Margosa tree on the occasion of ‘Jamai Sashthi’ at Bolpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal. The festival is observed for the longevilty of sons-in-law.

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A priest along with devotees performs a special 'yajna' at temple to get rid of the coronavirus pandemic, in Kolkata.

PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra

People perform rituals in Yamuna River during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi.

Photo by Suresh K Pandey/Outlook

A woman performs rituals during 'Kanya Puja' on the eight day of Navratri, during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Prayagraj.

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Priests perform rituals on the occasion of Mahanisha puja, during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Mirzapur

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People perform rituals on the bank of River Ganga in Varanasi

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Devotees perform rituals on the occasion of moksha-ekadashi at the bank of River Ganga, in Varanasi.

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Women perform traditional black-magic on the bank of River Ganga on the occasion of Kartik Purnima in Patna

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Sivaramakrishna Dikshithar medidates to appease the god of rain.

Activists demanding the arrest of Dabholkar’s killers during a protest march.

Maharashtrian brahmins perform rituals as they celebrate 'Shravani Parv' in Bhopal

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Bhartiya Janata Party supporters perform Hindu rituals for the long life of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where he is admitted in New Delhi.

Photograph by AP Photo/Altaf Qadri

An Indian tribal Hindu priest walks barefoot over burning charcoal as part of rituals during Baikho festival in Ramyapur village near Gauhati

Photograph by AP Photo/Anupam Nath