Durga Puja fervour grips north BengalOctober 16th, 2010 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS
Siliguri (West Bengal), Oct 16 (IANS) Durga Puja festivities in north Bengal, while matching the rest of the state in fervour and enthusiasm, have their own distinctive touch.
The local Nepalis have their own rituals to worship the goddess. The puja is performed by priests known as Baun Bajes.
“The worship begins on Mahalaya (Oct 7) and continues till Mahanabami (Oct 16). We do not have any puja on Dashami,” Neelanjana Tamang, a resident of Kurseong, said.
“The ritual includes bathing a banyan tree, which is known as kukur tewari. A dog is also garlanded and on the third day. Devotees can consume rice and non vegetarian dishes,” she said.
Durga Puja, the five-day autumn festival beginning with Shashti and ending with Dussehra, is being held at colossal puja pandals (marquees), where idols of the goddess and her four children are worshipped with much fanfare.
Durga Puja would end Oct 17 with the immersion of the idols.
The pandals in north Bengal are decorated with bright colours, while the idols are bought from Siliguri, located in the foothills of the region.
“Every year, we try to come up with something new. This year, the idol is made of thermocol sheets. We have been organising the puja for the past 55 years. This year’s budget was Rs.8 lakh. We do not have a specific theme this time as we do not believe in following others,” said Dilip Kumar De, a senior member of Subrato Sangha Club.
The households too conduct pujas of their own.
Said Ishani Saha of Spectrum Colour Lab, “The puja held at our house has entered its seventh year. It is an occasion to celebrate with one’s family.”
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Tags: autumn festival, banyan tree, baun, bright colours, colour lab, devotees, dilip kumar, distinctive touch, durga puja, marquees, nepalis, north bengal, oct 7, rs 8, saha, siliguri, spectrum colour, vegetarian dishes, west bengal, worshipped