Otgonchimeg Baldanjamts stands at an altar after offering money to the gods at Khamar Monastery in Sainshand, Dornogovi province, Mongolia. Some worshippers believe the monastery, founded in 1820, is the center of energy in the world.
Devotees, some carrying milk pots on their heads, walk to Inuvil Kandaswamy Temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. In this town, worshippers bring milk and freshly harvested paddy to the temple to commemorate Thaipusam during a Hindu harvest festival.
María Elena Sánchez kneels during a Mass to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the death of Jtactic Samuel Ruíz, an emeritus bishop who advocated for Indigenous rights, in the central plaza of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico. More than 3,000 pilgrims gathered and made offerings at the Mayan altar, which incorporated aspects of Indigenous religion and Catholicism.
Revelers carry a statue of Lord Murugan during Skanda Sashti, a Hindu festival, outside a temple in Kodikamam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. On the sixth day of the festival, devotees celebrate the deity’s victory over evil.
Krishna Shyam Prajapati makes clay lamps for the Tihar festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal. During the five-day Hindu festival, people decorate their homes, shops and offices, and light the lamps to welcome Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Family members of the founders of the Periya Thambiran temple make dumplings, or modak, as an offering to commemorate the day the temple was built in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Many people usually attend the celebration, but this year, only family members were present due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Axin Mazatl, left, and Cozca Kuahutli sprinkle seeds into censers filled with burned copal tree resin at a ceremony at the Tepalcayotl pyramid in Puebla, Mexico. This traditional offering to Mother Earth is based on pre-Hispanic ancestral knowledge and is part of a movement to preserve cultural heritage.
Sathiyananthan Amirthambigai, right, pours ghee and grains into a fire during a yajna, a Hindu ritual, as priests look on at the Sekarasasekara Pillaiyar Temple in Inu, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The yajna is performed in the name of Ganapati Omam for the welfare of the village and to protect its people from the effects of the coronavirus.
The interior of a foam rubber scale model of a church is displayed in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico. Juan Noé Pérez Santiz, 16, who started making models of churches in 2015, wants to study architecture.
Yeshe Thinley, a 16-year-old monk, prepares an altar for worship at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Boudha, Nepal. The altar holds a kudung, the body of a religious teacher believed to be sacred after they pass away. Kyabje Chokling Rinpoche died in December 2020, and his kudung will be kept in the monastery for one year so his pupils and disciples can pay their last respects.
Luckson Lamour, left, holds a thurible while Andy Roc adds incense at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. They have performed this task after Mass for the past seven years.
Purushottam Giri Sangeet Acharya, 60, a Hindu holy man known as a sadhu, reads near the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. He says that after the government announced a lockdown and religious sites closed due to COVID-19, many sadhus chose to leave Pashupatinath, where they lived.
María Luna participates in a Mayan ceremony in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico. The ceremony honors the fifth anniversary of the declaration of the Maria Eugenia Mountain Wetlands as a sacred place. Locals and members of environmental groups gathered to honor life, Mother Earth and nature. The city of San Cristóbal de las Casas lies in a mountain wetland area, but the city’s growth and demand for housing have increasingly destroyed this natural environment.
Gantushig Uranchimeg, an 11-year-old monk-in-training, participates in a ceremony to worship ritual vases at Khutagt Lama Gandanshadivlan Monastery in Mongolia’s Orkhon province. The ceremony, known as bumba, is meant to bring blessings and wealth to worshippers.
Priest Santosh Buddhacharya performs puja, a worship ritual, at Swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. Crowds of Hindu and Buddhist devotees and tourists used to worship at the stupa. But with travel restricted due to the coronavirus, the priests are now the only worshippers.