• Sunday, Nov 29, 2020
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Durga Puja begins, Maha Saptami on Friday

  • Published at 10:02 pm October 22nd, 2020
Durga idols at Dhaka’s Dhakeshwari Temple Durga idols at Dhaka’s Dhakeshwari Temple - Bangladesh
Durga idols at Dhaka’s Dhakeshwari Temple Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, no one was allowed to enter the puja mandaps without a mask

Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community, has begun on Thursday with the Maha Sashthi Puja at temples across the country.

In the morning, formalities of the Durga Puja began with the Sashthi puja in various mandaps across the country, including the Dhakeswari Temple.

Sashthi Puja began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Chandi, the blowing of conch shells (Shankha), and the beating of dhak-dhols (drums) in temples.

Participation was made limited at the mandaps as everyone was given entry into them after checking the temperature while arrangements have been made for maintaining social distancing.

No one was allowed to enter the mandap area without a mask.

A man spraying disinfectants at the mandap area of Dhaka’s Dhakeshwari Temple – as per the prescribed health safety guidelines in face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on Thursday, October 22, 2020 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Maha Saptami puja will be performed on Friday, Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja, and Sandhi Puja on Saturday, and Maha Nabami Puja on Sunday.

Various religious ceremonies have been shortened this year as per the instructions to avoid the infection of global pandemic Covid-19.

Leaders of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad urged all to strictly maintain the health guidelines and directives issued by the government in the wake of the global pandemic Covid-19 during the Durga Puja celebration.

This time Mahalaya was on September 17. Durga Puja is usually held six days after the Mahalaya, but this time the puja is being held in the month of Kartik as the month of Ashwin means ‘mall month’ which means ominous month.

According to the instructions, one has to maintain health guidelines, including social distancing, using hand sanitizer, and wearing masks while entering the puja mandap.

Devotees wearing masks – which has been made mandatory to curb the spread of Covid-19 – while celebrating this year’s Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community at Dhaka’s Dhakeshwari Temple on Thursday, October 22, 2020  | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Handwashing facilities, sanitizers, and thermal scanner should be ensured at the entry points of puja mandaps.

Recently, the Health Services Division issued directives for maintaining health guidelines during the Durga Puja in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

This year, the Durga Puja has been arranged at a total of 7,014 mandaps in Dhaka division while at 3,906 mandaps in Chittagong, 4,689 in Khulna, 2,646 in Sylhet, 1,584 in Mymensingh, 1,701 in Barisal, 5,250 in Rangpur and 3,435 in Rajshahi division

Security has been beefed up in all the puja pandals throughout the country, including the capital, with the deployment of additional squads of Ansars, police, RAB, and other law enforcers for peaceful celebration of the festival.

Besides, voluntary groups will also perform duties at the puja pandals.

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