News Alerts

19 Oct 2019 | 03:14 AM UTC

India: Diwali festival celebrations October 25-29

India News Alert

Diwali festival celebrations to take place between October 25-29; heightened security presence, transportation disruptions, and higher pollution levels expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/18/2019, 12:00 AM until 10/30/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION India

Event

The nationwide Diwali festival will take place from Friday, October 25, through Tuesday, October 29, with the more important celebrations being held in the south on Saturday, October 26, and in the north on Sunday, October 27. Businesses, government offices, and banks will be closed during this period, and transportation disruptions are to be expected due to an increased demand for alternative transport and traffic congestion. An increased security presence should also be anticipated in urban centers due to concerns over a heightened terrorist risk, as well as a probable increase in petty crime (pickpocketing, etc.) incidents.

Air quality is anticipated to worsen during the celebrations due to fireworks and ongoing agricultural fires burnings. Air quality will likely fall to a "very poor" level in urban areas, the second-worst level on the official Air Quality Index six-tier scale.

Context

Diwali, known as the festival of lights, is one of the most important holidays in the Hindu tradition. The festival is celebrated for five days in fall every year, and is 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.

Advice

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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