Appeasing the snake goddess with music, recitation and offerings
The festival of 'Manasa Puja' was celebrated peacefully amidst religious fervour and harmony at the Goila Manasha Temple in Agoiljhara Upazila, Barisal district last Monday.
Ardent devotees from different parts of the Bangladesh and West Bengal (India), as well as groups of bedey (gypsies) and shapurey (snake charmers) thronged the temple premises to observe the festival and make their offerings to the snake goddess.
Goats were sacrificed to the goddess, "Manasa Mangal" was recited, and Royani Gaan was performed at the festival that began early morning on Monday.
A mela (village fair) also held on the occasion and law enforcement officers took adequate measures to ensure safety of the devotees and visitors.
Rabindranath Adhikari, Sebayet (caretaker) of the Goila Manasa Temple, told The Daily Star that the temple -- about 500 years old -- has an illustrious history.
He further informed that the festival goes back to the time of Bijoy Gupta, the late 15th century Bengali poet who wrote "Manasa Mangal."
The reconstruction of the temple was completed last year and locals have repeatedly called to declare the venue as a heritage spot.