Spirited Mahanavmi celebrations in Bengal
People from all walks of life including celebrities relished community feasts at marquees and visited friends and relatives Sunday on Mahanavami, the fourth day of Durga Puja here.
Donning their best attires people hit the streets despite occasional drizzle to savour every moment of the puja spirit.
The weather failed to dampen the spirit of devotees who in large number thronged puja pandals, visited friends and relatives and gorged onto special menus offered by the restaurants across the city.
Many people indulged in light hearted chats, before partaking bhog (community feasts of food items offered to the Goddess first), which comprised a wide-range of varieties from luchis (poori bread) to khichuri, vegetable items, to fish and even mutton.
The main puja for Mahanavami or ninth lunar day began after the end of Sandhi Puja held at the confluence of Mahaashtami (eighth lunar day) and Mahanavami.
As per Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga killed Chando and Mundo, two asuras (demons) at the confluence (Sandhi) of Maha Ashtami and Mahanavami.
Goddess Durga was worshipped as the undefeated - and offered her favourite food items. This was followed by Maha Arati that concluded the puja rituals.
Mythology says that the Puja celebrates the annual descent of the Goddess - accompanied by her four children Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati - on the Earth to visit her parents. She stays for four days to eradicate all evil from the Earth before returning to her husband Lord Shiva at Kailash on Dashami.
(Posted on 13-10-2013)