Thousands of devotees assembled at Assi Ghat on Friday in Varanasi to celebrate Chhath Puja. People were seen wearing traditional attires and offered prayers at the ghats. This year, the festival is being celebrated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and many devotees said that they prayed to Chhathi Maiyya to keep everyone safe from the virus.

Amid a worrying spurt in coronavirus cases across the country, people gathered in blatant violation of social distancing norms, to celebrate the Chhath festival. The Chhath Puja is celebrated on the sixth day of the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar which also happens to be the fourth day after Diwali.

As per the Hindu traditions, devotees worship the Sun God and his wife Usha to express gratitude and seek their blessings. Mumbai is witnessing a muted Chatth Puja after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced restrictions on celebrations near natural water bodies in the city, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Maharashtra government had on Wednesday issued standard operating procedure (SOP) to be followed while celebrating Chhath Puja in the state. These include urging people to not crowd the waterfronts and beaches and instead, celebrate it from their homes.