West Bengal plunged into the festive spirit on the occasion of ‘Mahasaptami’ that marks the beginning of the worship of Goddess Durga during her four-day sojourn on Earth.
Puja organisers began the day early, taking out banana plantains (symbolising the wife of Ganesha) for a ritual birth at the nearest water bodies, as priests made arrangements for the day’s worship of the Goddess and her celestial family.
After morning rituals, worshippers offered ‘pushpanjali’ (floral libations) to the Goddess amid chanting of mantras later in the day.
Adding to the festive spirit, most community puja organisers hosted their neighbourhood to lunch featuring a variety of delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare.
In a message, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished people of the State a happy and peaceful Pujas.
Though shamiana-hoppers prefer to visit pandals during the night to enjoy the illumination, a large number of revellers took advantage of the clear day to hang around the better-known community puja shamianas and feast their eyes on the decor.
Personnel of the Kolkata Police, along with those of the city civic police, were deployed in strength near the big community pujas and busy intersections to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
Rites of ‘Mahashasti’ were held on Sunday to welcome the Goddess and her children to Earth.