Kolkata, Oct 23: People relished community feasts at pandals and visited friends and relatives Tuesday on Mahanavami, the fourth day of Bengal’s biggest religious festival Durga Puja.
After a whole night of revelry on Maha Ashtami Monday, many chose to wake up late, but soon got into their best attire to hit the streets again and savour every moment of the puja spirit, in the metropolis, towns and villages.
Many people also visited homes of friends and relatives and indulged in light hearted chats, before partaking bhog (community feasts of food items offered to the Goddess first), which comprised a wide-range of varieties from luchis (poori bread) to khichuri, vegetable items, to fish and even mutton.
The main puja for Maha Navami or ninth lunar day began after the end of Sandhi Puja held at the confluence of Maha Ashtami (eighth lunar day) and Mahanavami at around Monday-Tuesday midnight.
As per Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga killed Chando and Mundo, two asuras (demons) at the confluence (Sandhi) of Maha Ashtami and Mahanavami.
Goddess Durga was worshipped as the undefeated – and offered her favourite food items. This was followed by Maha Arati that concluded the puja rituals.
The idols will be immersed in the rivers and ponds on Dashami, which falls Wednesday this year.
Mythology says that the Puja celebrates the annual descent of the Goddess – accompanied by her four children Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati – on earth to visit her parents. She stays for four days to eradicate all evil from the earth before returning to her husband Lord Shiva at Kailash on Dashami.