West Bengal celebrates Diwali, Kali Puja
Kolkata, Nov 5 (IANS) With Diwali and Kali Puja falling on the same day Friday, it's double celebrations for people in West Bengal.
People across the state exchanged sweets with friends, neighbours and relatives, and celebrated the occassion with traditional fervour.
Thousands of people visited Kalighat and Dakhineshwar temples since morning to offer their prayers to the goddess on this auspicious day.
Long queues were seen at Tarapith temple, near Rampurhat in Birbhum district, where lakhs of pilgrims converged to seek blessings of the goddess.
'It is after three years that I am enjoying Kali Puja in Kolkata,' said Swarup Das, a resident of Kolkata, now based in Dubai. 'My wife is also thrilled to be in the city after a long time on this day. I will spend the evening with my son, bursting crackers. At midnight we will go to Kalighat to see the puja,' he said.
Children, dressed in their festive best, were busy with toy pistols and firecrackers on the streets of Kolkata.
Pandal hopping is a popular activity during the festival, and people love to see the artistic decorations and idols in various parts of the city. Apart from the community pujas, the goddess is worshipped in a large number of homes as well, which have been holding the puja for generations.
'One of my cousins organises Kali Puja at her residence. I will go there with my family. We will watch the puja rituals, eat and burst crackers,' said T.P. Dutta, a banker.
The festivities keep the city administration on their toes as well.
Authorities have banned crackers emitting more than 90 decibel of sound to control noise pollution.
'Over 9,000 kg of banned firecrackers have been seized and more than 76 people have been arrested,' joint commissioner of police Jawed Shamim said.
Security has been beefed up in and around several parts of the city, he added.
***************************************************What is Diwali? Short answer: A "festival of lights" celebrated between mid-October and mid-November, it commenerates many instances of Good triumphing against Evil. It is a time of celebration, gifts, lights, brightness, sharing, and familial love.
What is Kali Puja?