Durga puja: Mahalaya on Saturday

Mahalaya will be celebrated on 14 October, 2023

Mahalaya, an auspicious occasion that heralds the advent of Goddess Durga, will be celebrated at dawn Saturday through different rituals by Hindu community members across the country.

With the beginning of 'Devipaksha', Mahalaya is observed six days before Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community. Usually, the Devi Paksha commences with Mahalaya Amavasya.

According to Hindu mythology, Mahalaya marks the last day of 'Krishnapaksha', which is a dark fortnight of the month of Ashwin.

In the Indian state of West Bengal, Mahalaya is depicted in a show-tell manner, with songs, enactments and dances on regional television channels. The television show is also viewed by a lot of people, especially children in Bangladesh at dawn on the day of Mahalaya.The m

ost popular rendition of it, however, has been in the sonorous recorded voice of eminent narrator and radio broadcaster, Birendra Krishna Bhadra, whose rendition of mantras from holy book Sri Sri Chandi along with songs performed by others called Mahishasura Mardini are played customarily at the dawn of Mahalaya day in every Bengali household mostly in West Bengal as well as in Bangladesh.

Marking the day, special programmes of Mahalaya will be arranged at different temples across the country, including the capital, at dawn tomorrow.

The people of the Hindu community will remember and pay homage to their ancestors, who passed away, by performing puja, and offering clothing, food and sweets to the Brahmins in their name.

Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee will hold a special programme marking the Mahalaya at Dhakeshwari National Temple in the capital city, Dhaka, at 6:00 am.

Different programmes will also be arranged at Ramna Kali Mandir at dawn as Mangol Pradip (sacred earthen lamp) will be lit up at 6.05 am to commence the one and a half hour long programme. Awami League organising secretary Sujit Roy Nandi will attend it.

Talking to news agency BSS, Ramna Kali Mandir managing committee president Utpal Saha said they will portray local culture and works of mystic poets like Radaraman Dutta and Lalon Shah.

Gulshan-Banani Sarbajanin Puja Foundation will hold a programme to welcome Goddess Durga at 5.30 am at Banani playground.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud will attend the event as the chief guest.

Similar programmes will be arranged in different temples in the capital city and across the country.

Although Durga Puja will formally begin on 20 October on the day of Maha Shasti, the advent of Goddess Durga will be heralded tomorrow.

The nine-day festival- Navratri dedicated to Goddess Durga in the month of Ashwin usually commences soon after the end of Pitri Paksha.

Mahalaya marks an invitation of sorts to goddess Durga to begin her journey from Kailash to her paternal home (earth), along with her children.
This invitation is extended through the chanting of mantras from Sri Sri Chandi and singing of devotional songs.

Countdown of Durga Puja begins with the celebration of Mahalaya.
On 20 October, the Durga Puja will begin with various rituals on the day of Maha Shashthi while it will come to an end with the immersion of idols on the day of Bijoya Dashami.