Kolkata/Siliguri/Patna/Newc Delhi, Oct.24: People across India celebrated the last day of Durga Puja, the festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess of power, Durga on Wednesday.
Vijaya Dashami, the last day of he five day long festival culminated with the devotees making religious offerings to the idols of the Goddessday in various parts of the country.
This day symbolizes the triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.
On the occasion, women indulged in the tradition of ‘Sindoor Khela.’
In this practice, married women smear vermillion (sindoor) on each other and pray for the long lives of their spouses while unmarried girls pray for suitable grooms for themselves.
Religious rituals were performed at decorated pandals (makeshift tents) in various parts of the country.
In West Bengal, where Durga Puja is the most important festival of the year, people gathered in large numbers as they sought the blessings of Goddess Durga.
In Kolkata, women gathered in large numbers to as they applied vermilion on each others face.
“The significance of Sindoor Khela is that we are not only giving farewell to Goddess Durga, but Sindoor Khela has got such an importance for the longevity of our spouses and also for the peace and prosperity for our family and our spouse’s family. So that is the main significance of Sindoor Khela,” said Protima Majumdar, a local resident.
In Siliguri, a large gathering of devotees who came over to bid farewell and prayed for everyone’s well being.
“We pray to the goddess that the way we spent this year happily, may the coming year be also filled with happiness. And all the problems that are prevalent in the world like disturbances and violence, may the goddess stop all this and give sense to all men,” said Ritu Bannerjee, a devotee at one of the pandals.
Celebrations of Vijaya Dashami were also observed in Patna.
Large number of women gathered in the pandals and celebrated the status of their being married by indulging in Sindoor Khela.
“The vermillion is the symbol of being married and the goddess is married and now she is leaving for her home. So we are having fun and bidding her farewell. We are eating sweets, playing with vermillion and thus performing our parts,” said Rini Ghosh, a resident.
People celebrated the festival with great fervour in national capital New Delhi as a large number of people thronged at the decorated pandals.
During popular autumn festival of Navratra, nine forms of Devi (Divine Mother) are worshipped and it represents celebration of Goddess Durga. It involves fasting, dances, prayers, worship and is a period of introspection and purification.
The Hindu trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu created Goddess Durga, the most powerful of all gods and goddesses to vanquish the demons, hence the term ‘Durga Puja’ which means worshipping the Goddess. (ANI)