Sticking to their age-old tradition, the city’s football giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal ushered in the Bengali New Year or ‘Naboborsho’ with their traditional ‘Bar Puja’ on Wednesday.
During the ceremony, the goal posts of their home grounds are worshipped to bring good luck to the club.
Amidst cheering spectators and club administrators, the priest at the East Bengal club performed the ceremony, which also included worshipping a football and the goal post. Garlands were laid on the post along with incense sticks.
Also present at the ceremony were defenders Gurwinder Singh, midfielders Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Mehtab Hossain and Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie.
"It feels nice to be a part of such a ritual and tradition, I pray to my god as well and I believe your god and mine can together bring good luck for us and hope we can play better for the remainder of the season in the I-League, Subho Noboborsho!," said Schattorie who took an active part in the rituals.
East Bengal club official Debabrata "Nitu" Sarkar, who was arrested last year by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged connection in the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam, too wished everyone a happy and prosperous Bengali New Year.
"In the last few matches we have done quite well, and I hope we can end the season on a high. I keep motivating the players as much as I can but it is they who have to perform."
A few hundred metres away, similar scenes unfolded at the Mohun Bagan club. The Shehnai kept playing on the loop, while sweets, ‘luchi-torkari’ and puri were distributed.
Swapan Sadhan Bose, the club president along with secretary Anjan Mitra were also present.
"We are close and I hope we can bring the I-League back home this time," Bose said.
Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) treasurer Biswarup Dey was at the Mohun Bagan club greeting the officials on the auspicious day.
Unbeaten Mohun Bagan are leading the I-League standings with 28 points from 12 matches while East Bengal are at the fifth position with 19 points from as many matches.