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[PHOTOS] Kali Puja in Kolkata


Kolkata: Celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik, Kali Puja, also called Shyama Puja, or Mahanisha Puja, is a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. While the Bengalis, Odias and Assamese worship the goddess Kali, Lakshmi puja is conducted on this day by the rest of the nation.

King Krishnachandra of Navadvipa introduced Kali Puja in Bengal during the 18th century. Within the next century, the patronization of this festival by Krishanachandra’s grandson Ishvarchandra along with the Bengali elite raised the popularity of the puja enabling it to take its grand form today.

Devotees and worshippers honour the goddess by giving offerings of red hibiscus flowers, sweets, rice, lentils, fish, meat and even ritualistic animal sacrifices to her clay idols in homes or at pandals. The goddess is worshipped with tantric mantras and rites at night and true devotees are supposed to meditate throughout the night till dawn. Blood donation camps and other events are carried out throughout Bengal by many clubs holding their individual Kali pujas.

Read more- Uncovered: Why the West does not understand Kali

Maa Kali idol on way to pandal (Kumartuli, North Kolkata)
Kumartuli artists are busy giving final touches to Kali idol
North Calcutta Balak Brinda Sangha organized a blood donation camp as part of their Kali Puja festivities
Congress leader Somen Mitra inaugurating a Kali Puja pandal in North Kolkata.
Glimpses of Kali idols from the Kumartuli idol-makers den, North Kolkata.
A Kali puja pandal in the making
Finishing touches being given to a Kali idol

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Photos by Arnab Mitra

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Chhath Puja 2017: 5 Interesting and Lesser Known Facts about Hindu Festival Chhath Puja

Here are 5 interesting facts that you should know about the most ancient festival of Chhath Puja.

Chhath Puja Ritual
Chhath Puja Ritual. Wikimedia commons
  • The festival of Chathh Puja is Celebrated for four days where women fast for 36 hours. 
  • On this festival, God Surya is worshipped for sustaining life on earth and granting Health, Prosperity & Abundance.

Chhath Puja 2017: This year Chhath Puja will be Celebrated from 26 October

Chhath is considered to be an ancient Hindu festival.On Chhath Puja various rituals are performed for Thanksgiving Sun God for sustaining life on earth and granting Health, Prosperity & Abundance.

The word “Chhath” symbolizes the number 6 in Hindi language and the festival begins on the sixth day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik.The festival continues for four days during which people, especially women, follow diligent rituals including fasting for 36 hours.

Here are 5 interesting facts which you need to know about Chhath Puja:

Chhat Puja is the only Vedic Festival of India: Chhath Puja is considered to be one of the most ancient festivals of India surviving on earth.This puja first finds mention in the Rig Veda which contains hymns worshiping the Sun God and describes similar rituals.

The rituals performed during Chhath have scientific reasons: Rituals in Chhath Puja increases absorption and conduction of solar-bio-electricity in a human body. The processes and the rituals of the Chhath puja aim at preparing the body and the mind of the devotee for the process of cosmic solar energy infusion.

Also Read: Hindu Festival Chhath Puja gives great message to Society, says PM Narendra Modi

Four days rituals are designed in such a way that it benefits the health of the devotee: During the Puja, standing in the river Ganges allows the absorption of energy from the sun which moves along the spine and cleanses the body. This helps in better functioning of the body and calms down the mental state of the devotee. It reduces anger and negativity from the life of the devotee.

Worshipping Sun God on Chhath is prevalent in the ancient Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations of the world: Chhath puja has its international significance as it also celebrated in other countries like Mauritius, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago etc. as a part of their own traditions & customs.

Chhath Puja hails back to the time of the Mahabharata: Draupati is also considered to be the devotee of Sun God apart from Karna. Due to her devotion toward Surya, she was gifted with the unique power to cure even the deadliest diseases. Through this power gifted by her, Pandavas survived and won the Kurukshetra Battle over Kauravas and regained their kingdom back.