Kolkata, Sep 28: Bengal on Saturday observed the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of ‘Debi Pakshya’, with due solemnity.
The Mahalaya marks the beginning of 'Devipaksha' (Fortnight of the Goddess) and the end of 'Pitripaksha' (fortnight of the ancestors), in which three generations of ancestors are invited to a meal and an offering of rice cakes is made.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished all on the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya. On this auspicious occasion many people thronged the banks of the Ganga River to offer prayers to the souls of their departed ancestors early this morning and took holy dips in the river.
The day also indicates the arrival of festive spirit encompassing grandest festival of the year. On this day, the goddess Durga is believed to have descended on to Earth. Over a month in the city streets get clogged: traffic, pandals and people jostling for space. But one doesn't mind. There is sparkle in the eyes, tolerance in the heart. Mahalaya is celebrated seven day prior to Dura Puja in the state with the
chanting of 'Mahishasura Mardini' and ‘Chandipath’.
Bengalis woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday for their annual tryst with 'Mahalaya', an auspicious occasion, to the familiar strains of 'Mahishasura Mardini' from the majestic and resonant voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra. The occasion sets the stage for Goddess Durga along with her four children ( Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh ) to leave her abode in Kailash and make her annual trip to her paternal home on earth.
The day also marks the completion of 88 years of the very popular 'Mahisasuramardini', the longest running early dawn special radio programme aired by Akashvani. Thousands listened to the legendary Birendra Krisnha Bhadra's "ChandiPath" and recitation from the scriptural verses of "Chandi Kavya" in the age old All India Radio production in the wee hours today.
Since the early 1930s, Mahalaya has almost become synonymous with
the programme, which is an audio montage of the recitation by Birendra Krisnha as well as Bengali devotional songs and classical music.(UNI)