Durga Puja Celebrations to Begin on Saturday with Maha Shasthi

Image: Collected

Image: Collected

Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community, will begin on Saturday with Maha Shasthi puja at temples across Bangladesh amid festivity and religious fervour, reports BSS.

The five-day annual celebration will begin with unveiling of the face of the deity and Kalparambho on the day of Maha Shasthi, the day after Friday and it will end on October 5 with the immersion of idols.

The incarnation (Bodhon) of the goddess Durga is going to happen on Friday ahead of the puja on the day of Maha Panchami.

President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will issue separate messages on the occasion of Durga Puja

Maha Saptami puja will be performed on October 2, Maha Ashtami on October 3, and Maha Nabami on October 4.

Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion heralding the advent of the Goddess Durga, was celebrated on Sunday.

Idol makers and artisans have already readied idols for Durga Puja while some others are still passing a busy time giving final touches to idols at puja pavilions.

The idols are made diligently and methodically by the artisans to create exquisite pieces of artistry.

Durga Puja will be celebrated at 32,168 mandaps across the country this year including 241 in the capital, according to Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad.

Earlier, the parishad in a press briefing informed that the number of puja mandaps was 32,118 across the country the previous year.

The council's president, JL Bhowmik, said volunteers will work at every puja mandap round the clock during the five-day Durga Puja to help law enforcement agencies avert any untoward situations.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of puja mandaps decreased slightly in the previous year but this year the number has increased.

In Dhaka, the main puja mandaps are at Dhakeshwari National Temple, Ramkrishna Mission and Math, Kalabagan, Banani, Shakhari Bazar and Ramna Kali Mandir.

Major divisional cities, including Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna and Sylhet, and district towns including Faridpur, Dinajpur, Jessore, Kushtia, Satkhira, will also witness massive celebrations of Durga Puja.

Puja shopping also got momentum in the last week ahead of Puja as major markets and malls were crowded with customers. Many are still busy with puja shopping on the last days ahead of Puja.

Durga Puja signifies the birth of Durga with the blessings of gods, as a collective energy, to fight the demon king Mahishasura.

Exquisitely crafted and decorated life-sized clay idols of the Goddess Durga depicting her slaying the demon Mahishasura are being set up at temples and Durga Puja mandaps ahead of the celebration.

These idols will be worshiped for five days and immersed in rivers on the fifth day. The puja is performed in temples, homes and temporary mandaps.

The celebrations also include other major deities of Hinduism such as goddesses Lakshmi (goddess of wealth, prosperity), Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and music), Ganesha (god of good beginnings) and Kartikeya (god of war).

Stringent security measures will be taken across the country during the celebration of Durga Puja to avert any untoward situations.

Earlier, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed said flawless security measures will be ensured during Durga Puja celebrations across the country.

"We have already taken three tiers of security measures at mandaps ahead of Durga Puja and it will continue till the end of the puja," the IGP said.

He said necessary CCTV cameras will be installed at puja pandals and mandaps while handheld metal detectors and archway gates will also be set up.

He said necessary volunteers will be engaged round the clock at puja mandaps while separate entry and exit routes for men and women, adequate lights at puja mandaps and pandals and the places of immersion, standby generator or charger lights will have to be arranged.

The IGP urged all to call the national emergency service 999 in case of emergency.

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