The Diwali festival will begin nationwide on Tuesday, November 6, and run through Saturday, November 10, with the most significant celebration taking place on November 7. Businesses, government offices, and banks will be closed, and transportation disruptions should be expected due to increased demand and traffic congestion. An increased security presence should also be anticipated in urban centers for the duration of the holiday period due to concerns over a heightened terror risk and a likely increase in incidents of petty crime (pickpocketing, etc.) associated with large gatherings.
A worsening of the air quality is also anticipated due to the prevalent use of fireworks during the festival and the ongoing stubble burnings. In major urban areas, air quality will likely fall to a"very poor" level, the second worst level on the official Air Quality Index six-tier scale.
Diwali, known as the festival of lights, is one of the most important holidays of Hinduism. The festival is celebrated for five days in fall every year, and marked with street parties and firework displays. Toxic levels of air pollution are systematically recorded after the celebrations, notably due to the use of fireworks.
Individuals are advised to remain vigilant, avoid the area surrounding festival locations, and expect transportation delays in the days leading up to, during, and immediately following Diwali. Individuals should also monitor the air quality situation, limit outdoor activity, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention if experiencing breathing difficulties.
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