Durga Puja celebrations come to an end in West BengalOctober 9th, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Oct 9 (IANS) Five days of Durga Puja festivities finally ended as West Bengal bid a tearful adieu to the goddess and her children Thursday, marking another yearlong wait for her autumnal homecoming. The frenzied immersion ceremony of the idols of Durga, accompanied by elaborate processions, dancing, beating of drums and lusty cheers by youngsters, saw people making the most of the carnival.
In keeping with the tradition, the idols of Goddess Durga along with those of her children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya were immersed with much fanfare, after the womenfolk smeared the deities with vermilion.
Special pujas were held as the day progressed. Married women prayed for the well-being of their families. Sweets were distributed as friends and relatives wished ‘Shubho Bijoya’ (Happy Bijoya Dasami) to each other.
In some of the old households in north Kolkata that observe the pujas in the traditional way, the idols were immersed early while big budget community pujas of Kolkata chose to immerse the idols a day or two later.
Babughat, on the banks of the Ganga, was teeming with hundreds of people who turned up to watch the grand immersion spectacle as chants of “Balo Durga Mai Ki Jay” (Hail, Mother Durga) rent the air.
Women joined the dance to the beating of drums as the idols were immersed.
Around 5,500 pujas were organised in West Bengal, including 4,000 community pujas in Kolkata alone.
“We have made elaborate security arrangements for immersion at Babughat and other immersion venues,” a police official said.
About 5,000 policemen were deployed in the state to cope with the crowds and maintain security.
Many marquees chose not to immerse the idols because of a superstition that forbids the immersion of idols on Thursdays.
Bijoya Dashami in West Bengal also signifies sweets, homemade goodies and exchange of greetings. It is a special ritual that reaffirms peace and good relations between people.
Durga Puja began with enthusiasm Sunday with West Bengal decked up with giant marquees, bright lights and a surge of humanity flocking to savour the best of Indian craftsmanship and culture.
Kolkata this time witnessed pujas mostly dominated by varied themes - including the temples of Java, a Santhal village, the Nano factory at Singur and global warming - reflecting social concerns and creativity at its best.