BHOPAL, India – Residents of the northern Indian city of Bhopal celebrated on Thursday the second day of the Hindu festival of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, by painting cows and buffalo in vibrant colors and adorning them with headdresses and flowers.
The cattle looked wholly unflustered by the close attention they were being paid, calmly grazing while local residents blessed them and painted their horns and hide.
Once their outfits were complete, the cattle were ushered down a road, while onlookers banged drums and set off fireworks, a nationwide tradition during Diwali.
The extent of fireworks being detonated during the festival has triggered health alerts across the country, particularly in Delhi, which awoke to toxic smoke on Thursday morning after thousands defied a Supreme Court ban on their use overnight.
The second day of the festival, one of the most significant in the Hindu calendar, is known locally as Govardhan Puja, and marks the day Lord Krishna defeated Lord Indra, the god of rain.