Preparations for Durga Puja are going on in full swing across the country with two weeks left for the biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community.
The annual five-day “Sharodiya Durgotsab” will begin with the unveiling of the face of the deity and Kalparambho on the day of Maha Sashthi on October 22. The festival will end with the immersion of the idols of the Goddess Durga on Bijoya Dashami on October 26.
“In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, health guidelines and other directives of the government will be strictly followed during the cerebration of the Durga Puja,” Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad General Secretary Nirmal Kumar Chattarjee told BSS today.
The Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion heralding the advent of goddess Durga, was celebrated on September 17 last.
Idol makers and artisans are now passing their busy days in making idols of Durga Puja at puja mandaps across the country. Generally, the idols are made diligently and methodically by the artisans to create exquisite pieces of artistry.
“All preparations for the Durga Puja are going on in full swing across the country,” Nirmal Kumar Chattarjee said.
He said over 30,000 permanent and temporary mandaps are being prepared for worshiping goddess Durga in the country, including around 232 in the capital city, this year.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of puja mandaps decreased slightly this year compared to the previous year, he said.
Durga Puja was held in as many as 31,000 permanent and temporary mandaps in the country, including around 240 in the capital, last year, he added.
The Puja Udjapan Parishad general secretary expressed his hope that the country’s Hindu community will celebrate the festival following the health guidelines.
In Dhaka city, the main puja pandals are at Dhakeshwari National Temple, Ramkrishna Mission and Math, Kalabagan, Banani, Shakhari Bazar and Ramna Kali Mandir.
Durga Puja signifies the birth of Durga with the blessings of gods, as collective energy, to fight the demon king Mahishasura.
Exquisitely crafted and decorated life-size clay idols of the Goddess Durga depicting her slaying the demon Mahishasura are set up in temples and Durga Puja pandals.
These idols are then worshiped for five days and immersed in the river on the fifth day. The puja is performed in temples, homes and in the public, featuring temporary stage decorations.
The celebrations also include other major deities of Hinduism such as goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth, prosperity), Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and music), Ganesha (god of good beginnings) and Kartikeya (god of war).
On Sunday last, the Home Ministry gave some instructions to ensure the security of the puja mandaps and maintain law and order.
The instructions came from a virtual meeting of the ministry today with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan in the chair.
According to the instructions, while entering the puja mandap, one has to maintain health guidelines, including social distancing, using hand sanitizer and wearing mask.
All concerned have been requested to limit the number of puja mandaps as much as possible while no procession will be allowed at the time of immersion of the goddess Durga.
The Puja Udjapan Committees are asked to dial 999 for emergency help or support if needed. Source: BSS