Unmarried Hindu women in Nepal are fasting for a month in the hope they will find a good husband. The ritual is also observed by married women to pray for their family's welfare.

The month-long Swasthani Brata Katha festival, which began on 5 January, is dedicated to the Hindu god Madhavnarayan and goddess Swasthani.

Every day for a month, devotees recite one chapter of a story about the gods and the miraculous feats they performed. Devotees also go on pilgrimages to various temples to take a holy dip in rivers, in freezing Himalayan winter weather.

In this gallery, we compile some of the most beautiful photographs of this year's festival.