Rash Festival draws big crowd to Kantanagar Temple
The historic Rash Festival, a 500- year-old traditional religious festival of the Hindu community at Kantanagar Temple at Kaharol upazila of Dinajpur, began recently with much enthusiasm.
According to the organizers, at least two lakh pilgrims across the country gathered at Kantanagar temple to celebrate the religious festival amidst tight security. Some of the devotees congregated from all over the subcontinent.
During the celebration, the Kantaji idol was brought from Dinajpur Rajbari to the Kantanagar temple. The idol had been taken to Dinajpur Rajbari from Kantanagar Temple last August as part of tradition.
On the eve of the Rash Festival, the idol was brought to the Rash altar at midnight. Thousands of devotees gathered at the venue to carry out the key rituals of the festival.
The rituals are performed on the night of the full moon in accordance with a tradition that dates back 500 years, and was connected with the Rajas of Dinajpur.
The festival is observed by people from all walks of life. Organisers said that this year the temple area turned into a veritable sea of human beings with thousands of devotees from India, Nepal, as well as across Bangladesh.
Magura, Mymensigh and Patuakhali, Nilphamari and Bhola. Many spent the festival night around the temple area, believing that such rituals can promote the welfare of society.
During this period, the temple authorities provide food and entertainment. The latter includes ritual songs and Radha-Krishna dances, much to the delight of the pilgrims and in keeping with traditional temple hospitality.
In addition to the rituals, the festival organisers also arrange a month-long mela at the temple premises. Hundreds of traders from different parts of the country bring along their products.
This year Mohammed Nabiul Haque Mollah, deputy commissioner of Dinajpur inaugurated the festival as chief guest while Mohammad Abul Kalam police super of Dinajpur was present at the inaugural session of the festival.
Minoti Bala, 75, a resident of Bhanga upazila of Faridpur, attended the festival at Kantanagar temple. She termed the festival as the best that she had ever seen. However, Anil Chandra Roy from Rangpur expressed his frustration at the performers rendition of circuses and jatras, which he termed as obscene.