Dhaka, Bangladesh
No Kumari Puja in Dhaka amid coronavirus pandemic

No Kumari Puja in Dhaka amid coronavirus pandemic

News Desk There will be no programmes to celebrate Kumari Puja in Dhaka due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad has announced it on Saturday. “The Kumari Puja festivities will not be held at puja marquees in Dhaka considering the coronavirus situation. However, it may take place in other parts of the country,” Milon Kanti Dutta, president of Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad, said on Saturday. There have been reports of idols being vandalised in 'one or two places', he added. On Aug 26, the Puja Udjapon Parishad issued a 26-point directives to hold the puja in line with the government’s health protocols. Later, another 7-point order was issued on Oct 8, following a meeting with the home minister. The Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the Hindu community, is a part of Bengali secular culture and tradition, which has to be scaled down this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee, general secretary of Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad. “We are just calling it ‘Durga Puja’ and not 'Durga Puja Festival' this time.” The puja will be held in keeping the government’s order but without any cultural programmes this year. The organisers were asked to livestream the rituals of Anjali on Facebook. “A maximum of 50 people can gather for the rituals of Anjali and the puja mandap or premises must be closed by 9 pm,” Nirmal said. The procession on Dashami or the last day of the puja and distribution of prasad (devotional offering of food items) has already been banned. According to Hindu scripture, Mahalaya, Bodhon and Sandhi Puja are the three components of Durga Puja. Mahalaya is an invitation to the mother goddess to her parental home. This is done through the chanting of psalms and singing of devotional songs. The ceremony marks the beginning of Devi- Paksha and the end of Pitri-Paksha. The devotees pray and offer food for the salvation of their ancestors’ souls during a portion of the Pitri-Paksha, which is called ‘Tarpan’. The main Durga Puja celebrations will begin on Oct 23 this year. It is scheduled to end on Oct 26.

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