Buddhist priest Dipendra Bajracharya conducts an annual puja, or religious ceremony, in December, in front of the Buddhist stupa at the Lakhatirtha area in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. This puja is commemorating the stupa, a Sanskrit term for a shrine, which are seen as Buddhist symbols of enlightenment.
Prayer flags are on display at Pharping, a Buddhist pilgrimage site located just south of Kathmandu, Nepals’ capital city. The man shown is among the people who earn money by hanging prayer flags for pilgrims. There is no fixed price, but the flag hangers work to earn all they can.
Two evangelical pastors, both on left, baptize a young girl in Lake Atitlán in Panajachel, a city in southwestern Guatemala, in late December. A group of young boys stand nearby in the water, awaiting their turn. The group traveled from Patzún, a nearby municipality, to perform the baptisms. Lake Atitlán is renowned in the region for its size, beauty and surrounding volcanoes.
Women prepare a puja, an act of worship, to the setting sun during Chhath, a four-day Hindu festival celebrated in parts of Nepal and India. The women are in the Ranipokhari area of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, the location of a temple to Shiva, a Hindu god.
Families gather on Nov. 2 at the cemetery in Aldea Chaquijyá hamlet in Sololá, a municipality in southwestern Guatemala, for Día de los Difuntos, which is part of the two-day Día de los Muertos celebration, known in English as Day of the Dead. For Día de los Muertos, a religious holiday in Latin America, families often visit the burial sites of loved ones to offer food and gifts, pray and perform rituals. Many also share a meal by the tombstones. Día de los Difuntos is reserved for praying for the recently deceased who may still find themselves in purgatory.
Two girls sit in a Catholic church in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Beni territory. They attended a mass dedicated to the victims of an August 13 massacre that reportedly killed more than 50 people. Government officials blamed the massacre on the ADF-NALU, a Ugandan armed group.
A masked dancer performs a Bhadrakali dance in Kathmandu on June 25 during a festival to Bhadrakali, a Hindu goddess. The festival, held every 12 years, is mainly celebrated among Nepal’s Newar people and is intended to bring prosperity and peace to the country.
Children and young people pull a large, multi-tiered chariot that carries a statue of the Hindu god Bhairav in Nepal’s Bhaktapur municipality. The event is part of Bisket Jatra, an annual, nine-day street parade that is held to celebrate the Nepali New Year, which falls each year in mid-April. This year, New Year’s Day was April 13.
The carnival of Huixtán is celebrated each Sunday in February in the Huixtán municipality in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state. The carnival combines Catholic and indigenous beliefs to kick off Lent and appeal for rain and plentiful harvests. Here, a group acts out scenes found in the Bonampak murals, an ancient Mayan archaeological site in the state. The murals document the civilization’s religious rituals, war practices and politics.