Mahalaya celebrated nationwide
The Hindus yesterday celebrated the Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion heralding the advent of goddess Durga.
Mahalaya that is considered as ceremonial invocation of goddess Durga is observed seven days prior to the initiation of the Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the community.
Hindus believe the earth prepares itself and welcomes the coming of the Goddess and her children, through the celebration.
The four-day Durga Puja will begin on October 19, amid wispy autumn clouds in the translucent blue sky and fragrance of Sheuli flowers that will mark the arrival of the goddess.
This year, Mahanabomi and Bijoya Dashami will be celebrated the same day on October 22.
Meanwhile, leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad yesterday demanded a three-day public holiday on the occasion of Durga Puja, while currently there is a single holiday.
They placed the demand at a views exchange meeting with journalists at Dhakeshwari National Temple.
“We demand sufficient security measures, uninterrupted electricity and water supply at puja mandaps and colourful decoration of the government buildings, including Gono Bhaban, Banga Bhaban and Nagar Bhaban,” said Kajal Debnath, the parishad president.
A total of 14 goddess' idols have so far been vandalised at different spots across the country in last couple of weeks, he informed, with a demand to bring the perpetrators to book.
Worship of the goddess will be held at around 29,074 puja mandaps this year, while the number was 28,458 last year in the country, the Parishad leaders said.
The puja will be held at 224 mandaps in the capital this year, while the number was 221 last year, they said.