Durga Puja is considered the biggest festival in Bengal. As the festival gets nearer, the people thronged the markets for shopping. A huge crowd was seen on Sunday at Kolkata’s New Market and Dharmtala for shopping ahead of the festival.
After two years of COVID restrictions, greater enthusiasm is being seen among the people who have gathered for shopping.
“There were many restrictions during the pandemic for the last two years. Durga Puja is a very special and emotional festival for all of us. People want to purchase new things during the festival. Now, we are finally coming out to the markets and doing shopping. It feels very good,” Ahana Choudhary, a customer told ANI.
“I came here after too long. I come here occasionally for some small shopping, but I avoid coming for festive shopping due to huge crowds. Now, people can also use online shopping, but the joy of shopping in the market is something else. That’s why I have come here and let’s see what I will do,” another customer said.
Customers told ANI that despite the arrival of online shopping, there is greater joy in shopping from the markets, “Online shopping is easier, but coming and doing shopping in the market is something else. Earlier I used to come with my parents and now I come with my friends, and it feels very good.”
“Here, we can ourselves try out the goods before purchasing them. Also, here we can bargain, so it’s a unique experience altogether,” another customer said.
Celebrated in Shukla Paksha of the month Ashwin in the Hindu calendar (September-October), Durga Puja is the major annual festival in Assam. It is also celebrated in other parts of India.
The 10-day festival marks the worship of Goddess Durga. Months before the festival, artisanal workshops sculpt idols of Durga and her children (Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh) using unfired clay.
The festival marks its beginning on the day of Mahalaya when the ritual of ‘pran pratistha’ is done by painting the eyes on the goddess idol. Sasthi, Saptami, Ashtami…every day the festival has its own significance and set of rituals. The celebrations culminate on the tenth day known as Vijaya Dashami when the idols are immersed in water bodies from where the clay was sourced.
This year Durga Puja begins on October 1 with Maha Shashti and will end on October 5 with Maha Dasami.
The significance of Durga Puja goes beyond religion and is revered as the celebration of compassion, brotherhood, humanity, art and culture. From the reverberation of ‘dhaak’ and new clothes to delicious food, there remains a merry-go-round mood during these days.