In this photo by Bikas Das, a Hindu priest marks a trader's account book with holy symbols on the Bengali New Year in Kolkata, India. Business owners consider it auspicious to open their new account books on the first day of the new year. In the book pictured, the circles are imprints of rupee coins and the middle symbol is the swastika, an ancient symbol of well-being for Hindus. Several festivals being celebrated in India this week mark the harvest season as well as the new year. In Bengal, the celebration is called Poila Boishakh. In the southern state of Kerala, the festival of Vishu was celebrated on Wednesday, and the main harvest celebration in parts of north India, Baisakhi, was celebrated on Tuesday. Celebrants offer prayers, buy and wear new clothes and cook and eat special foods during the festivals.
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