New Delhi [India], December 15 (ANI): United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday inscribed "Durga Puja in Kolkata" on the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity".
"Congratulations! Durga puja is now inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! 14 ICH elements from India have been inscribed on this list by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage," tweeted UNESCO.
Following the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight calling it a "great pride and joy" for the countrymen.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister said, "A matter of great pride and joy for every Indian! Durga Puja highlights the best of our traditions and ethos. And, Kolkata's Durga Puja is an experience everyone must have."
Celebrated in Shukla Paksha of the month Ashwin in the Hindu calendar (September-October), Durga Puja is the major annual festival in West Bengal. It is also celebrated in other parts of India and especially amongst the Bengali diaspora.
The ten-day festival marks the worship of Goddess Durga. Months before the festival, artisanal workshops in Kolkata sculpt idols of Durga and her children (Lakhsmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh) using unfired clay from the river bed of Ganga.
The festival marks its beginning on the day Mahalaya when the ritual of 'pran pratistha' is done by painting the eyes on the goddess idol. Sasthi, Saptami, Ashtami…every day the festival has its own significance and set of rituals. The celebrations culminate on the tenth day known as Vijaya Dashami when the idols are immersed in the river from where the clay was sourced.
The significance of Durga puja goes beyond religion and is revered as the celebration of compassion, brotherhood, humanity, art and culture. The city of Kolkata turns into a dazzling diva with the decoration of colourful lights. The sound of 'dhaak' reverberates across the city. From new clothes to delicious food, there remains a merry-go-round mood during these days. (ANI)