Durga Puja begins with Maha Shasthi
Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community, begins on Monday with Maha Sashthi puja at temples across the country amid festivity and religious fervor following the prescribed health guidelines in face of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The five-day Durga Puja festival will begin on Maha Sashthi with the revelation of the deity's face and Kalparambho and conclude on October 15 with the immersion of the idols.
The incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga was held on Sunday at temples ahead of the puja on Maha Panchami.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina felicitated the Hindu community in separate messages on the occasion of Durga Puja.
Maha Saptami puja will be performed on Tuesday, Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja, and Sandhi Puja on Wednesday, and Maha Nabami Puja on Thursday.
The Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion heralding the advent of Goddess Durga, was celebrated on October 6 last.
Durga Puja signifies the birth of Durga with the blessings of gods, as a 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 at 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).
Durga Puja is being celebrated at 32,118 puja mandaps across the country this year while the puja has been arranged at 238 puja mandaps in the capital Dhaka, according to a statement of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad.
In Dhaka city, the main puja mandaps are Dhakeshwari National Temple, Ramkrishna Mission and Math, Kalabagan, Banani, Shakhari Bazar and Ramna Kali Mandir.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad leaders urged all devotees to properly maintain health guidelines and directives were issued by the government in the wake of the global pandemic during the Durga Puja celebration.
Earlier, at a meeting on security preparations before Durga Puja celebrations, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal stated that law enforcement authorities will take strict security measures to ensure a peaceful Durga Puja celebration.
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